Xavier School recently hosted a symposium titled “Respecting and Appreciating Differences: Talk on Anti-Bystanding,” marking the launch of the Grade 6 interdisciplinary project which aims to combat bullying and create an inclusive environment. The event, held last July 11, 2023, featured Mr. Christopher John Tiu, a distinguished alumnus, who shared his experiences and insights to promote respect and appreciation of every individual’s uniqueness. Anchored on empathy and understanding, the talk emphasized Xavier School as a safe place for all students.
Can Bullies Change?
During his presentation, Mr. Tiu highlighted a crucial perspective: bullies may be dealing with their own internal struggles. This new dimension of understanding aims to encourage empathy among the students. While bullying remains unacceptable, antagonizing the bullies further is not a solution. Mr. Tiu suggested that deep down, even bullies possess a flicker of goodness, which, if nurtured, can lead them to change their behavior positively. The constant judgment and condemnation of bullies often reinforce their negative actions. Instead, the campaign aims to communicate to bullies that love and acceptance can be attained without exerting power over others.
The Grade 6 students resonated with Mr. Tiu’s message, recognizing the importance of standing up for others. Chad Reyes, a Grade 6 student, expressed his satisfaction, stating, “I believe that most students until today do not know how to stand up for people, and I was happy that Mr. Tiu mentioned that so that students will become upstanders.”
Upstanding to Address Bullying
Promoting the concept of being “upstanders” lies at the core of Xavier School’s mission to foster a tightly-knit community founded on harmony and kindness. The objective is not only to discourage negative behaviors but also to empower every student to actively contribute to the creation of a humane and safe school environment.
Mr. Tiu also emphasized the role of faith in combating bullying. He stressed that faith and mindfulness enable us to exercise our freedom responsibly. Studies have shown that many bullies are unaware of the harm they cause. By increasing self-awareness, bullies can begin to recognize the impact and consequences of their behavior.
Shawn Lim, another Grade 6 student, expressed his newfound perspective, saying, “I learned that everyone can get help from God and learn from their mistakes.” This acknowledgment of the role of faith in personal growth highlights the positive effects of Xavier School’s educational formation.
Xavier School as a Community of Kindness
As Xavier School continues its journey, the focus remains on fostering a community where everyone becomes an agent of kindness. The ultimate goal is for every student to feel loved and accepted, while every graduate embodies the value of being a person for others.
With the symposium and Grade 6’s interdisciplinary project as catalysts for change, Xavier School aims to illuminate the path toward unity and understanding. Together, the Xavier community strives to create an environment where compassion thrives and bullying becomes a thing of the past.