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Students form a giant heart while dressed in their pink anit-bully T-shirts at Tusarvik School in Repulse Bay in February of 2014. - photo courtesy George Thompson

The making of a heartfelt gesture
Tusarvik holds series of events supporting anti-bullying campaign

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Students and staff members took the next step in battling bullies at Tusarvik School in Repulse Bay earlier this month.

Tusarvik has implemented a renewed emphasis on healthy choices, both inside and outside the school, during the past month.

Rebecca Ulrich of the Canadian Red Cross and Jenny Tierney of Nunavut's Embrace Life Council recently paid a visit to the school.

During their time at Tusarvik, they passed along instruction and information on the Healthy Youths Relationship program, including a lesson taught with every class in the school on anti-bullying and violence.

Tusarvik teacher George Thompson said the students have responded well to the campaign at the school.

He said a number of follow-up activities helped reinforce the anti-bullying message.

"In addition to the Red Cross and Embrace Life presentations, the week long campaign also featured a number of contests and a special school assembly," said Thompson.

"The following Monday, Tusarvik held a pink T-shirt day in support of the previous week's anti-bullying campaign.

"Thanks to the generosity of school principal Aubrey Bolt, the whole school was given one of the T-shirts.

"The students wore the T-shirts and came together to form a large heart in support of the anti-bullying campaign."

Tusarvik has numerous resources to draw upon since the Canadian Red Cross and Embrace Life Council visits.

Thompson said there will be a renewed focus on anti-violence, anti-bullying and respectful relationships at the school.

He said the campaign produced a truly charged, positive atmosphere during the week.

"We had a door poster contest, with the judges awarding first place prizes of a pizza party to the winning elementary and senior high classes.

"There were two anti-bullying videos presented, a pledge, and prizes of a $100 and a $200 Northern store voucher, a mini iPad and a laptop computer for student participation.

"Members of the school's staff, RCMP, clergy, health centre and district education authority, among others, joined the students to form the shape of a heart with their pink T-shirts on."

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