Good morning everyone. My name is Eve Reidy and I am the Anti-Bullying Ambassadors Coordinator.
This is our first year introducing this programme and I know many of you are probably wondering what and who we are. We are a group of students who are committed to creating a positive atmosphere in the school, one in which everyone feels safe and enjoys spending time in. However, this movement is so much more than just one group of students. It is an empowering programme that we hope inspires students and staff in the school to be kind to one another and appreciate each other.
Bullying has always existed in schools and the workplace. However, in recent years, the impact of social media has increased its frequency and threat. Here, at Loreto Foxrock, we strongly believe that a student's happiness in school is the most important thing, which is why we are introducing this powerful programme.
The aim of this programme is not to make anyone feel guilty or shame anyone into thinking that they have done something wrong but rather to give you the tools to understand what is the right thing to do the next time. I am aware that we all make mistakes. We all have experienced moments where we have spoken before we thought. There are times that I myself have been insensitive, selfish or impatient towards others when I should have been more empathetic and understanding. Unfortunately, no one can escape these moments as they are part of human nature but what’s important, is to recognise our mistake, apologise and learn from it.
Social media has had a particularly dramatic impact on our behaviour towards others. When we are online, behind a screen and not in front of a person’s face, it is easy to forget about the other person's feelings. That is why when we post a photo, like something or comment, we must think before we click and ask ourselves 'will our actions effect anyone else?' We must remember to click with compassion.
For me, the Ambassadors Programme is about pride. I am proud to be a Loreto Foxrock girl and I always will be. We are all part of a growing international community and will be for the rest of our lives. With Loreto Order schools reaching as far as South Sudan and Australia, it can be challenging to realise the impact our community is having on the world. Although everyone in our community may not speak the same language, have the same skin colour or share the same culture, we are all still connected by our belief in the Loreto Order the values of justice, freedom, truth, sincerity and joy that they instil.
It is our own idiosyncrasies and our quirks that make us who we are and strengthen our community. You may think that the person sitting beside you is the complete opposite to you but nevertheless, you still wear the same crest and share the same pride of being Loreto Foxrock girls. That is why we should be kind to our peers. We are all part of the same community and share the same values. It is important to remember to boost each other up rather than knock each other down.
In the upcoming weeks our Ambassadors will be meeting with all year groups looking for anyone interested in becoming an Ambassador. We are also currently organising to have all students design a personal pledge, promising to embrace our school's values and be kind to each other. After signing this pledge all students will be invited to leave their handprint on the school wall, showing your commitment to making our school a positive place for everyone.
Lastly, I would like to remind everyone to embrace our schools values. Encourage each other to share your talents and quirks with the school community. Be proud of who you are and your fellow peers. Be positive and kind to everyone. Do this for yourselves, do it for the community and I am certain that we will surpass even Mary Ward's vision.
In the words of Maya Angelou,
"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."