Thursday, 06 December 2012 08:44

Maverick acknowledges White Ribbon Campaign

Written by  Jessi Gowan
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For the past 15 years, Maverick School in Swift Current has been working to end men’s violence against women by participating in the annual White Ribbon Campaign.


The campaign was inspired by the emotional reaction men experienced following the murders of 14 women at Montreal Ecole Polytechnique on Dec. 6, 1989.
“In the week leading up to Dec. 6, we wear white ribbons as a pledge to never commit, condone, or remain silent about the violence against women,” explained Maverick School student Tommy Thorburn. “During the week, we are encouraged to examine how our behaviours contribute to a climate where this kind of violence has been accepted.”
Maverick School participates in this campaign by not only encouraging all male staff and students to wear the ribbons, but also by bringing in guest speakers, watching informational videos, and by holding group discussions with male students.
“It’s a really important thing, and we realize that to try to put and end to it, men have to step up and start changing the way we think,” explained Colin Smith, teacher at Maverick School. “This campaign is a great way to get people educated about it.”
The school generally sees 100 per cent participation from the male staff and students, and they even work to encourage other schools to get on board, as well. This year, students Tommy Thorburn and Laine Theise helped put together 500 ribbons to distribute to all male staff in the Chinook School Division.
“It’s a really important cause, because we never want something like Dec. 6 to happen again,” added Smith. “Listening to some of the statistics, it’s just bizarre to see how much violence actually happens.”
By educating students about relationship violence when they are just starting to develop relationships of their own, Smith hopes to stop violence before it happens. Working with Southwest Crisis Services has been a huge benefit for Maverick, enabling them to present their students with some first-hand information.
“They have done a lot of work to get us great guest speakers and helping us find videos to show over the years,” Smith noted. “I think that participating in this campaign has really worked for us, especially in the meetings we’ve had with the boys. It really helps challenge the way that we do think.”

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