Mr. Speaker, I rise to put a question asked by students of the Pickering family of schools. That question is: How do we use our collective voices to uphold everyone's right to live in a safe, caring and inclusive community?
The “i Am Who i Am” campaign was developed at Pine Ridge Secondary School after the devastating suicide of grade six student Mitchell Wilson, a victim of years of bullying by his peers.
At a time when adolescents are navigating new waves of social norms, online media, endless fads and personal insecurities, the “i Am Who i Am” campaign challenges students to stand up for each other. It seeks to promote integrity, honesty and non-violence.
To spread the message, schools in the Durham region will be selling T-shirts and wristbands, using the proceeds to purchase a wheelchair for a Pickering family in need.
In the first week of this campaign, over $5,000 has been raised, with monthly events now planned to raise even more.
In the wake of this year's human rights day, all of us have a role to play in breaking this cycle of intimidation and violence by taking a stand against bullying.
Let us speak out against bullying among teenagers.
Let us speak up and speak out on behalf of victims. Let us celebrate the unique individuality of every Canadian.
I applaud the collaborative efforts of the 19 participating Pickering family of schools for saying “i Am Who i Am”.