Community

Students sharpen their WITS

Ridge Meadows RCMP, School District No. 42, and fire departments in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows have combined to bring a new anti-bullying program to students.   - Contributed
Ridge Meadows RCMP, School District No. 42, and fire departments in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows have combined to bring a new anti-bullying program to students.
— image credit: Contributed

Ridge Meadows RCMP, School District No. 42, and fire departments in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows have combined to bring a new anti-bullying program to students.

WITS teaches students how to “Walk away, Ignore, Talk it out and Seek” help to prevent becoming victims of bullying.

“We feel that this program will help provide students, staff and their families with the knowledge, confidence, and tools to effectively deal with peer-to-peer conflict,” said RCMP Cpl. Alanna Dunlop. “It is important for students to know that there are people around them that are available to support them and assist when required.“

WITS, launched mid-January, begins with a school assembly introducing the program and problem-solving model.

WITS for grades 4-6 and enlists senior students at the elementary level to be school leaders and educated bystanders. Community leaders follow up by visiting individual classrooms and supporting students in using  WITS to deal with bullying or peer victimization.

“Building school communities of care and safety, in which every child feels included, is fundamental to student success,” said school district counsellor Sherri Skerratt. “Partnering with our RCMP and fire departments to teach our students how to help themselves and others in the presence of peer conflict and victimization is a critical piece towards building these communities of safety. Our students will be learning language and strategies that will move beyond the classroom and school into the community.

• Visit www.witsprogram.ca.

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