École Mer-et-montagne students recently became special agents, out to defend themselves and others against bullying.
The agents – students from kindergarten to Grade 7 – were sworn in on Nov. 19 at the French school on Alder Street.
The swearing-in ceremony had students reciting an oath which allowed them to become special agents of the WITS program.
The anti-bullying initiative, WITS (Walk away, Ignore, Talk it out, Seek help), is aimed at helping to prevent and discourage bullying among school children.
Syndie Hébert, principal of École Mer-et-montagne, said the event was led by teacher Kathy Cabana and the school’s RCMP liaison officer, Cst. Chris Foster.
“Several people of the community were present as role models for the students,” Hébert said. “But the highlight of the ceremony for our students was the attendance of students from the francophone program at Carihi as well as the entire Campbell River Storm team.
“These young adults are amazing role models for our students who look up to them with a lot of respect.”
Joining the Carihi students and Storm players, were special guests Deputy Fire Chief Chris Vrabel, francophone association director Jeanne Landry as well as Berthe Lapierre, the president of the Association Francophone de Campbell River, and Gaétan Desrochers, francophone trustee for the region.
WITS was created by an Esquimalt school principal in 1993.
The program, which seeks to prevent peer victimization by involving not just students but their families and communities, was adapted to the French language during the 2012-13 school year.
The WITS program is today run in more than 600 schools across Canada and the United States.
For more information on WITS, visit www.witsprogram.ca