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THE  ALEXANDRA  SCHOOL     MESSAGE  TO  STUDENTS  FROM  PRINCIPAL    


Dear  Alexandra  Students,     Let  me  first  begin  by  saying  that  my  professional  happiness  and  my  sense  of  achievement  are   inextricably  linked  to  your  success,  your  comfort  and  your  happiness.    I  see  it  as  my   uncompromising  duty  to  challenge  and  overcome  anything  and  anyone  that  seeks  to  deny  you   those  fundamental  rights  as  a  student  of  this  school  and  as  a  citizen  of  this  country,  the  country   that  has  its  future  totally  tied  to  you  and  your  contributions  both  currently  and  into  the  brave   new  world  that  you  will  fashion.     Today,  all  of  you  in  your  own  personal  ways  are  being  asked  to  confront  the  real  issue  of   bullying.    It  may  not  have  touched  you  personally  and,  hopefully,  it  never  will.    Unfortunately,   one  of  your  classmates,  contemporaries  from  another  school  or  a  family  member  may  not  be  as   blessed  as  you  are  and  may  be  quietly  suffering  in  the  hell-­‐hole  trap  of  bullying,  either  as  victim   or  as  perpetrator.      You,  like  me,  have  a  responsibility  to  understand  what  is  bullying,  appreciate   the  warning  signs,  accept  its  lifelong  negative  impact  and  commit  to  equipping  yourself  with  all   that  is  necessary  to  eliminate  this  clear  and  present  danger.    You  have  to  care;  you  have  to  love;   you  have  to  respect,  and  you  have  to  be  sensitive  to  differences.     School  life  is  not  and  cannot  only  be  about  academic  success.    Yes,  that  is  important,  but   character  development  and  memory  creation  must  also  be  a  significant  focus.    What  do  you   want  to  be  the  significant  recollection  of  your  school  life  fifteen,  twenty  or  even  thirty  years   after  you  would  have  left?     As  your  principal,  I  commit  to  doing  everything  that  I  can  to  ensure  that  your  memory  is  filled   with  the  positives  that  result  from  good  classroom  moments,  supportive  interaction  with  staff,   expressive  involvement  in  sport,  culture  and  service,  wholesome  and  confidence  building   relationships  with  classmates  and  others  of  your  age  group,  be  they  study  buddies,  mentors,   inter-­‐school  competitors  or  simple  friends.     You  must  be  able  to  openly  look  back  and  with  a  deep  sense  of  pride  say,  “I  attended  the  best   school  to  be  found  anywhere  on  earth  or  mars.”    Your  memory  should  be  devoid  of  fear,  anger   or  regret.    Each  of  us  must  play  his  or  her  part!  


Be  very  sure  that  bullying  hurts  both  the  victim  who  may  become  withdrawn  and  afraid  to  fully   realize  his  or  her  true  potential;    who  may  be  forced  to  suffer  great  emotional  anguish  and    live   a  life  defined  by  lack  of  self  esteem  and  self  worth  as  well  as  the  fear  and  pain  of  actual  threats   and  physical  aggression.    The  perpetrator  also  suffers  by  forcing  his  or  her  way  to  positions   through  no  true  intellectual  effort  or  performance  standards,  and  which  are  therefore  not   sustainable.    This  person  can  never  look  back  with  pride  at  any  genuine  achievement  because   there  would  have  been  none.     You  are  better  than  that,  and  our  motto,  “Per  Ardua  Ad  Astra”  focuses  you  on  being  better  than   that.    Let  it  be  your  guide  as  you  proudly  reminisce  and  speak  of  your  effort  that  landed  you   among  the  stars  in  your  chosen  field  of  endeavour.  It  is  also  true  that  the  latest  research   statistics  have  shown  that  sixty  percent  of  students  identified  as  bullies  between  ages  eleven   and  fifteen  end  up  with  a  at  least  one  criminal  conviction  by  age  twenty  four.    My  children,  this   is  not  what  I  want  for  you  and  not  what  you  want  for  each  other!     As  we  plan  our  efforts  to  eliminate  any  and  all  real  forms  of  bullying  from  our  school  and,  by   extension,  our  society  let  me  share  three  thoughts  with  you.         •

Bullying  is  always  linked  to  a  power  imbalance  between  people.    There  is  a  difference   between  power  and  authority  which  is  a  legal  and  agreed  structure.    You  can  fashion   your  own  power  structure  (as  Ryan  Brathwaite  has)  based  on  intellect,  values  and   personal  achievement.    Earn  it  and  you  need  fear  no  one.    

You  do  not  have  to  pull  down  or  hurt  others  to  achieve  anything  worthy  in  life.     Remember,  whenever  you  light  a  candle  to  brighten  someone  else’s  path,  you  also   illuminate  your  own.    

Never  accept  the  notion  that  bullying  cannot  be  experience  through  words.    It  is  not   true  that  as  the  saying  goes,  “sticks  and  stones  may  break  my  bones,  but  words  will   never  do.”    Words  do  hurt  and  they  do  break  your  feelings,  your  confidence,  your  self-­‐ esteem  and  your  appreciation  of  self  and  worth.    That  is  not  what  you  want  for   yourself,  and  it  is  not  what  we  want  for  our  classmates,  colleagues  and  nation.    


As  I  end  this  letter,  I  encourage  you  and  even  directly  instruct  you  to  reject  and  report  any   identified  incident  of  bullying.    You  have  strong  support  systems  such  as  your  prefects,  student   counsellors,  favourite  teacher,  form  teacher,  year  head,  Guidance  Counsellor,  Deputy  Principal   and  me.    I  want  you  to  know  and  be  sure  that  I  love  you  dearly.    I  am  here  as  an  advocate,   supporter  and  guide  for  you.    Let  us  commit  to  each  other,  to  our  school  and  to  the  outstanding   legacy  builders  who  came  before  us.    Let  us  accept  as  a  mantra:     LOVE  AND  CARE  YES!   BULLYING  NO!    


MESSAGE TO STUDENTS FROM PRINCIPAL  

MESSAGE TO STUDENTS FROM PRINCIPAL

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