This Friday we encourage staff and students to wear a pink shirt or item of clothing to join an international movement that celebrates who we are rather than isolates or persecutes those who are different. Many schools will be promoting “Bullying free week” in New Zealand, however we and the primary school prefer to promote a more positive message. Whanau assemblies will remind students and staff of how we can make a difference on an individual level by being friendly, welcoming and mindful of how other people feel and the effect of what we say or do.
Our school has countless ways of making people feel included, ranging from the year 7 camp to DEEP classes which have students mixing from every whanau and every year level. Our whanau engender a sense of belonging, our extra-curricular programme encourages teamwork and our learning programmes promote collaboration which all contribute to making MHJC a safe learning environment.
We also wish to ensure that everyone feels safe hence the title Safe school week. A proactive way to add to the well established communication pathways for students who can see a trusted adult – Learning Advisor, Senior Leader, teacher or coach is a new email system which will allow students to report their concerns for themselves or their friend who may be experiencing a difficult time. This may have been caused by any number of factors but includes persistent, personally directed messages which often appear on social media and originates outside school.
The email address email@example.com will be trialled to see if we can help students who may not normally come forward to do so knowing their message will be confidential and dealt with sensitively in the first instance by our counsellor.
I believe we have a wonderfully vibrant school culture which is based on respect and understanding. However it is important from time to time to reinforce what we do and why we do it to make everyone at MHJC feel safe and valued.
Growing greatness – Kia mana ake.