Upcountry schools team up against bullying


Photo by Holly Honda

Kamehameha Schools Mauiʻs counselor, Malorie Chong, along with a group of students, leads sign wavers to promote bullying awareness on Kula Highway, Oct. 26.

High School students and staff of King Kekaulike High School, Seabury Hall, and Kamehameha Maui Schools joined to hold up signs and wave on Kula Highway at ʻAʻapueo Parkway to combat bullying last Wednesday, Oct. 26.

October is National Bullying Prevention Month, according to PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center. According to their website, “PACER Center is a parent training and information center for families of children and youth with all disabilities from birth to young adults.”

The counseling department of Kamehameha Schools Maui came up with the idea to raise awareness of bullying by sign waving. Various school clubs and organizations, such as Ola Nā Iwi, Peer Mediation and student government, were invited to participate. Students and staff of King Kekaulike High School and Seabury Hall were also invited, along with the Maui Police Department, Maui Family Support Services, Maui Economic Opportunity, and the Maui News.

In preparation, students created signs with catchy phrases to catch the eyes of drivers passing by.

The morning started slowly with about 14 students, but y 7:45, there were about 75 students and staff who were waving signs with drivers waving and honking their horns as they passed.

“I think that it went very well and that we had a lot of people come out and show their support against bullying. It was very good,” said Ariana Hurdle, secretary of Ola Nā Iwi.

However, counselor Malorie Chong said that the campaign shouldn’t stop at sign waving. She said students also play a big role in preventing bullying. Instead of looking at the surface of others, students should know the stories behind an individual before judging.

“The biggest… thing [we] can do is to stand against it,” Ms. Chong said. It is easy to make a sign and post it, but to stand up in front of a bully, or to stand for a victim of bullying could make the difference. “One of the biggest things that kids can do is [to not] give attention to it,” she said.

“We can show that we do not participate in bullying and that we do not support it,” Hurdle said.

The counselors also “have a big responsibility to help people” Ms. Chong said, and she want students to know that the staff, whether administration, teachers or operations, want to help and assist students in any way they can.