St. Georges High School (St. GHS) Anti-Bullying Club (ABC) Co-founders and Grade 11 students, Jada and Jerell Strachan, are working diligently to ensure that not another child suffers verbal, physical or cyber-bullying again by introducing the program at campuses throughout the Grand Bahama community.
A dynamic duo, the Strachan twins are intelligent and athletically gifted young ladies, who through the Anti-Bullying Club has helped hundreds of students, who have been victims of bullying within the past two years discover the strength to speak up against the unwarranted verbal, physical and/or cyber abuse that has caused emotional pain and strife so much so that many refused to attend school.
The Anti-Bullying Club held its weekly meeting this past Thursday March 2, 2017, just a day ahead of club members’ scheduled visit to Tabernacle Baptist Christian Academy (TBCA) to introduce the program to students attending that institution.
During an interview with this daily, Jada Strachan explained, “The Anti-Bullying Club was borne out of a tormenting experience I had to endure since the sixth grade as a result of being bullied.
“On a daily basis, I suffered an onslaught of verbal assaults by bullies at my school, which never seemed to let up.
“Oftentimes I found myself becoming withdrawn from people and fellow students in school and the toll this unprovoked anti-social, abusive behavior took emotionally shook my confidence.
“Thankfully, however, family, friends and teachers would not allow me to wallow in self-pity particularly my twin Jerell and soon thereafter I entered a beauty pageant and decided to heighten public awareness of bullying and its troubling affects.
“Immediately began creating an Anti-Bullying Platform for the pageant and rather than simply developing the use as a contestant alone, I decided with the help of my twin Jerell to revamp it to assist other students facing this vexing issue to find their voice and speak up and out against the harmful and unhealthy anti-social practice that not only occurs on school campuses but throughout various sectors of our community.
“Once that goal had been reached, with the support of my sister, we presented the Anti-Bullying Club platform to administrators of St. GHS, who helped us to establish the program on campus in September 2015, which was readily certified by the Ministry of Youth, Sports & Culture for nearly two years.
“There are approximately 30 members of the Anti-Bullying Club, which pledges to never use negative words or actions to offend any individual and always use positive words to lift people up and do what is best to aid their happiness and emotional health that is vital to their learning and development at school.”
The Anti-Bullying Club has made remarkable strides and brought to the light startling yet undeniable facts that victims of bullying experience depression, anxiety, increased feelings of sadness and loneliness, which could also lead to severe changes in sleep and eating patterns, a loss of interest in activities once enjoyed, health problems, poor grades and suicidal thoughts.
Members of ABC that includes St. GHS Head Boy Kalon Duncanson and Deputy Head Boy Raphael Roker also help to play a pivotal role in developing a bully-free environment campus-wide as well as assist bystanders, who may be afraid to speak out against the act, feel powerless to act or those that are tempted to participate in the detrimental habit to break the cycle and do that which is right.
The Strachan twins with the support of St. GHS administrator, advisor Ms. Gibson along with their parents hope to inspire other educational institutions to implement an Anti-Bullying Program by conducting school tours and highlighting the facts as it relates to bullying in this day and age.
Additionally, the St. GHS Anti-Bullying Club will be distributing educational paraphernalia throughout the community at various high traffic junctions as well as the Strachan sisters expect to invite a variety of professionals to address students at seminars and meetings, host competitive debates regarding bullying and conduct age-appropriate programs and activities to educate and put an end to bullying society-wide.
Grateful to the twins for developing the Anti-Bullying Club, Duncanson noted, “As a leader within my school I must say the Anti-Bullying Club has helped me to identify when fellow peers are under duress as a result of bullying tactics.
“My fellow ABC members are learning how to approach various situations and help others who may be enduring verbal, physical and/or cyber-bullying discover their voice and speak out against it.
“Statistical facts continue to show the alarming affects of bullying on a student’s psyche which in certain cases has led to depression, low self-esteem and suicidal thoughts.
“It is often said that sticks and stones break bones but words don’t hurt but time and again that phrase has been proven wrong and we need to stomp out this anti-social behavior now.
“We need not to judge or misjudge anyone, be tactful in our interactions with persons and develop proper conflict resolution skills.
“Lessons learned in the club also helps to build character, good morals and assists those who are oftentimes misunderstood.
“Creating an anti-bullying environment is essential to student’s growth and development on all levels as we never know what a person might be going through and I honestly hope and pray this message catches fire and spreads throughout all schools and communities across Grand Bahama rescuing persons from this brutal and unnecessary onslaught of harassment.”
For more information about the Anti-Bullying Club of St. Georges High School please telephone 1-(242)-352-7373.
Published Wednesday, March 8, 2017