Mayor Marianne Matichuk recognizes Courage to Stand Day
This month, school officials, school boards and students in Greater Sudbury will proclaim “Courage to Stand Day,” and, as a city, we will recognize the strength of those who have endured and overcome bullying in a peaceful and dignified way.
We hear about bullying all the time. We know it continues to be a problem, whether physical, verbal or cyber. We know we need to actively work toward fixing it. And we know we have made progress, but not enough.
There is a lot of responsibility on society to create environments where positive and peaceful relationships are able to flourish. As a city, we must create healthy places to grow, to learn and to have the courage to stand up for what is right.
Last year, I had the honour of proclaiming Courage to Stand day in Greater Sudbury at the invitation of the Chief's Youth Advisory Council.
At that time, the dozen hard-working, dedicated teens on the council were handing out wrist and smartphone bands encouraging their peers to THINK. Before you post anything on social media or send a text message, ask yourself if it’s True, is it Hurtful, is it Illegal, is it Necessary and, finally, is it Kind?
I thank all four local school boards and the Greater Sudbury Police Services for their leadership on this issue, and in particular, the Chief's Youth Advisory Council for its advocacy.
There are many forms of bullying and it doesn’t just happen at school. It happens to adults, too. It can happen online. It can happen at work. It can happen on a team. It can happen to anyone, at any time.
Remember, don’t be a bystander. Do something if you see someone being bullied. If you go along with the bully or be part of a group laughing at something a bully does or says, you are just as guilty. The best way to stamp out a bully is to refuse to give him or her an audience. Instead, get away and get help for the victim before it escalates.
Courage to Stand is a simple, yet powerful message — we must stand for positive relationships, stand for kindness, stand for empathy, for justice, for compassion, stand for respect, stand for inclusion, for dignity and for truth.
And we must stand together — as classmates, as peers, as co-workers and as citizens.
If in doubt, remember the golden rule of how to treat others. Armed with its certainty, there are endless opportunities to find the courage to put this rule to good use, and stand for what is just.
Marianne Matichuk is Mayor of the City of Greater Sudbury.