Rain does not deter crowd in anti-bullying march

POSTED: 10/22/12 12:54 PM

St. Maarten – Intermittent rain could not stop a crowd of some 300 people most of whom were children as they marched on Saturday night against bullying. The march was organized by the Voice Of Our Children (VOOC) foundation and according to VOOC President Sharmaine Olivacce, the rain was viewed as a shower of blessing for the foundation’s biggest activity to date.

Olivacce said that she was grateful for the resolve of the participants who continued to walk regardless of the weather change. The march started at the Prince Bernard Bridge and continued onto the Pondfill until it reached the heart of Philipsburg. Many of the attendees waved placards calling for an end to bullying which occurs predominantly in schools on the island.
Among the participants were VOOC youth, the Generation New Status Drum Band STM, the Boys Brigade, Boy Blue, Seventh Day Adventist Youth, the St. Dominic High School, St. Maarten Academy and Special Miracle and Deliverance Ministries Youth Group.
They all joined the likes of Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams, Education, Culture, Youth and Sport Minister Silveria Jacobs and Parliamentarians Dr. Lloyd Richardson and Silvia Olivacce-Meyers at the annual event.

Tamara Page-Calderon representing the Special Miracles and Deliverance Ministries Youth Group, which had a large contingent at the event, won the best placard competition. At the Clem Labega Square, the rally’s final destination, Page-Calderon was chosen from among a group of other impressive young people who called for the stamping out of bullying.
The placard had words such as “gossiping, pushing, hitting, rumors, teasing, why judge me if you do not know me.” Dr. Richardson handed over a Kindle device provided by the foundation to the young woman for her efforts.

The prime minister said that issues like bullying are not often discussed by people, they tend to shy away from such sensitive topics but she was heartened to know that the VOOC has chosen to expose it. Dr. Richardson added that bullying is a serious problem on the island which negatively affects people even as they develop into adulthood.

Minister Jacobs indicated that on a recent visit to schools she observed that many students had projects on bullying which suggests the reality of the situation. She added that on school buses in particular, many students are bullied and this can never be acceptable behavior.

Members of the VOOC spoke about some of the things their fellow students say to hurt their feelings and “break you down” since this is also a form of bullying.
Dominos Pizza donated pizza to the children while B and C Beverages provided water and juices. October is regarded Bullying Prevention Month in the United States and several parts of the region. The VOOC began its anti-bullying campaign in January and it has become a year-long initiative. One of the highlights of the campaign was the launch of vehicle bumper stickers for an end to bullying. Saturday’s march was held under the international theme: The End of Bullying Starts with Me and the local theme: Walk Against Bullying-Take A Stand. The foundation plans to host a multi-sector panel discussion on bullying in November during the United Nations Rights of the Child Week.

Did you like this? Share it:
Rain does not deter crowd in anti-bullying march by

Comments are closed.