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Cowichan students break down walls of perception

Cowichan Secondary Grade 12 students Logan Swain and Makenna Campbell have been a huge help organizing the school
Cowichan Secondary Grade 12 students Logan Swain and Makenna Campbell have been a huge help organizing the school's jam-packed Compassion Week of activities centred around B.C.'s Anti-Bullying week and provincial awareness campaign.
— image credit: Ashley Degraaf

Students at Cowichan Secondary want to show the community just how much positivity and spirit they can raise

The high school’s Compassion Week includes anti-bullying activities focused on the school’s perception as an old dingy school.

So essentially, they’re trying to eliminate the bully behind the negative perception of their learning headquarters on James Street.

And they will do just that this week

“We can’t just look at the school as a factory. We have to take a look at the lives of the students and staff and feed off of that,” said leadership instructor Brad Skene.

Skene’s super impressed with the students staging the second year of Compassion Week at Cowichan Secondary.

Two of those students include Makenna Campbell and Logan Swain.

They’ve both been working tirelessly, alongside several other leadership and student council students to throw together the four day, district-wide anti-bullying campaign.

The week’s events include the Cow High kick-off Monday, random acts of kindness Tuesday, Pink T-Shirt Day Wednesday, and acceptance day on Thursday.

The students have Friday off.

“What we’ve really discovered is it just doesn’t happen in one day,” said Grade 12 student Swain.

“Each day represents something different, whether that’s acceptance or just random acts of kindness,” added Campbell, who’s also in her final year at Cow High.

The kick off Monday saw a banner hung in the school hallway where anyone can jot down what they like about the school.

“That really brings people together,” said Campbell, noting a banner was also created last year.

Tuesday is all about finding the goodness we all have in our hearts, and doing things like opening a door for someone, offering a compliment or just saying hello to passerby’.

“We talked about this part in our leadership classes as well with the girls rugby teams, and to have a couple of the girls from the teams remind the others of something they could do to partake in this,” said Skene.

“Last year we tried note-giving, but this year we decided to leave it a little more random,” said Campbell.

Pink Cowichan Secondary T-shirts will be on sale Wednesday, and any proceeds will go towards one of the schools many programs they participate in, which might include the District Student Advisory Committee’s fall Back Pack program.

A photo of students in their shirts will also be snapped on the front lawn of the school on Wednesday and pink ribbons and markers will be available to those who don’t have a pink shirt to wear.

Students are still sorting out details of how Thursday’s acceptance day will play out, but essentially the idea they hope to get across is ‘just being yourself.’

“You can walk through the hallways that day just relieved knowing you can be yourself,” said Skene.

Both Campbell and Swain agreed organizing the week’s activities wasn’t about credits or marks, it’s something they both enjoy being a part of.

“In life, and in school, it’s really how you can make each day better,” said Swain.

“I look at highschool knowing I want to leave making a difference,” Campbell said. “People are already looking forward to the week, and excited about it. They’re waiting for it.”

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Community Events, September 2014

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