Over the last two weeks, we have been talking about the National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence. The younger girls and boarders reflected on some scenes from the movie The Ant Bully. In this movie, a young boy who has been tormenting the ants is shrunk to ant size and learns what it is like to live in the ant colony. In the scene we watched, Lucas describes the human world as “every man for himself”. The ant responds “that is so primitive, how does anything get done”. Lucas goes on to explain that some people work together, but our differences keep us apart. The ant reflects that it is our differences that make a colony strong – everyone working together for the good of the whole.

This movie provided the springboard for us to think about how we treat others who are different from us, the ways in which we embrace every person in our school community and the things we can do to make our community stronger.

In our Middle and Senior Years chapel, I named a few ways in which these ideas have been challenged within this group over the last little while. Unfortunately, I have noticed that some girls are not treating each other as well as they could. The girls were given three challenges: to ensure that their own words and actions are encouraging and not hurtful to others; to speak up and let their friends know that they have acted inappropriately if they forget challenge one, and to speak up for themselves if others have treated them negatively. It is important that as staff we are informed of any instances of persistent thoughtlessness and unkindness which may result in bullying. When we know what is happening, we are able to respond and ensure all girls are feeling content and safe at school.

When teenage girls are together there can be times of conflict and sometimes this causes hurt and exclusion. At Glennie, we are striving to say ‘No Way’ to bullying but more than that, we want to ensure that all of our interactions are kind and accepting. From the music that is played during breaks to the words we speak to one another, each Glennie girl has been challenged to take responsibility for her own actions and to ensure that what she does and says is considerate of those around her. Together we can ensure that every member of our school community feels loved, accepted and cared for.

At the end of Chapel, we read a section of our school reading from Colossians. “You must clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Be tolerant with one another and forgive one another whenever any of you has a complaint against someone else. You must forgive one another just as the Lord has forgiven you. And to all these qualities add love, which binds all things together in perfect unity.” Each of us must strive to follow these words of St Paul.

The Rev’d Sharon Mitchell

Posted with permission
Originally posted here