Marco delivered the following message to all students in our most recent assembly.
Good morning boys,
Today marks the middle of a significant week in New Zealand’s calendar, anti-bullying week. Although every week of the year at McGlashan is a week where we dishonour and speak against those who choose to put others down, this week is a moment of reflection and realisation. McGlashan is a place of community and belonging; this moment together as a whole school in this chapel shows this. The people you meet today will and most likely be friends for a lifetime. When I ask old boys about what they remember the most about McGlashan I find that the typical answer I get is not the memories of what they may have learned in specific classes but instead, they answer with the people they were with and the memories from these interactions. May it be the times they had with others during a school camp or the time spent with others during lunchtime. The point is, how you act around your classmates today or tomorrow and how you make them feel will stay with that person for the rest of their lives. You never know what that person is going through outside of school so if you think your comment may be sensitive or something you wouldn’t like to hear simply don’t say it. You don’t want to be that guy who is remembered as the one who loved to make jokes about others or put them down. We must examine our own actions and attitudes and question whether they contribute to an environment of fairness and respect.
Treating others kindly is also controlled by the individual itself and influenced by the people around who can impede such hurtful actions. We should stand up or simply not laugh at jokes that seem inappropriate.
If you hadn’t been listening throughout this, great. However, there are two main things I want you boys to remember from this morning. Experience and interaction with your classmates today, may it be a positive or negative experience, it will forever stay with that person. So, be careful with what you say and do. Stand up against others who you may think have said hurtful things. Speak out or simply don’t endorse it with a giggle.
As Rev Nicol said during Monday's chapel, “Words are powerful, choose them well”.