Montessori students take a stand against bullying | Community Spirit
by Emma Higgins
20% of all children say they have been bullied. At Grand Rapids Montessori school, some students have decided to make an organized stand against bullying. “It’s not nice to see people being bullied, called names or feeling bad,” explains Qiqi Clark. Clark is one of a group of students aged between nine and eleven who have formed OASA: Organization Against Student Abuse.
Since their formation in January, the group has been focused on rallying support amongst their peers, making promotional posters and keeping records of specific incidents of bullying. “People come and tell us about bullying they have either witnessed or been a victim of,” adds the ten-year-old Clark. She estimates OASA now has four or five members in each class.
Riley Wilson, another founding member of OASA explains that his decision to start the group had a lot to do with the project his father is involved with, “Until Love is Equal,” a recent campaign to instate anti-discrimination laws for housing and employment in nearby Holland. Hearing about the apparent injustice caused by the absence of these laws got young Wilson thinking about some of the injustices in his own classroom. He hopes OASA can act as the “eyes and ears” of the teachers when they can’t be there in person.
Wilson helped to set up a drop-box where victims of bullying could provide anonymous accounts of any incidents they either witnessed or were involved in firsthand. Although the...