Brock University Graduate student Kimberly Mularczyk is one person who implores students to stand up, not stand by, when they see instances of bullying around them.
A master’s student in Child and Youth Studies, Mularczyk is also part of a national organization called Promoting Relationships and Eliminating Violence Network (PREVNet), whose mission is to stop bullying and promote healthy relationships for children and youth.
Her PREVNet involvement led her to work with the Family Channel, using research to help develop resources and bullying prevention tips for parents, teachers and students. Recently she was chosen to represent PREVNet in the Family Channel’s 14th annual ‘Stand UP!’ Bullying Awareness Week campaign, joining actors from the TV show The Next Step at a rally at Lord Kitchener Elementary School in Vancouver.
Hundreds of students filled the school gym to get an advance look at a special bullying episode from “The Next Step”, and learn about the harmful effects of bullying and how to help stop it. Mularczyk facilitated discussions to illustrate that all types of bullying can be hurtful, and that telling someone (specially an adult) you’re being bullied can be extremely helpful.
“Even if you are just one person, you have the power to make a difference in your school and in the lives of others,” says Mularczyk.
Family Channel’s Bullying Awareness Week launches today and runs through Nov. 20, followed by the Ontario Ministry of Education’s Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week which is Nov. 20 to Nov. 26.
Mularczyk says millions of adolescents around the world are impacted negatively by bullying every day.
“This campaign brings the conversation around bullying to the forefront, encouraging individuals to come together and find genuine support in one another,” she said. “Individuals who experience the effects of bullying often feel like there is no point to come forward, due in part to the false perception that nobody would believe or care about them.
“Bullying Awareness Week thus helps to reinforce the meaningful idea that no matter how hard times may be, you never have to be alone.”
For more information on Family Channel’s “Stand UP!” campaign and useful resources for teachers, parents, children and teens, visit promo.family.ca/stand-up.