Comox leadership students defend their Comox school

Dear editor,

Re: Just don’t screw up on the stairs.

Dear editor,

Re: Just don’t screw up on the stairs.

We, the Grade 9 to 12 Leadership students at Highland, want to let the public know who we really are at Highland Secondary School. After Mr. Baird’s unfair use of our school as an example of a place where bullying is “allowed,” we want to pledge to everyone that we do care. Highland has plenty of heart!

Highland Secondary school is…

• A community created to guide and support all students;

• A dynamic and creative place to learn and grow;

• Fine Arts – Avenue Q, the musical, our winning improv team, our amazing bands and choirs, an outstanding art studio and program;

• The Eco Team was one of the first schools in BC to create a full-school recycling and environmental activism group (;

• HASC is the first ever aboriginal student’s council in B.C. that meets regularly;

• Student Council — all kinds of student voices have the opportunity to tell administrators what is important to them;

• So many athletic clubs — and there are so many after-school groups, and events that it is hard to list them all — Culinary Club, Garden Club, Destination Imagination;

• Peer counsellors is a group of senior students that makes time to help students who need someone to talk to;

• Girls Group — a safe and fun way for junior girls to meet and talk about life and school;

• Advantage Program — a support program for students who benefit from mentorship;

• Ace-it — Students are starting a career in a skilled trade while still in high school;

• International Student Program — with dozens of students from all over the world, Highland is multicultural, globally aware, and increasingly accepting of different cultures;

• Interact Club — working with Rotary and Free the Children, this service club is always fund-raising for important international causes.

• The IB Program — Highland offers the only public-school diploma of the International Baccalaureate Program, north of Victoria, an amazing opportunity and asset for students heading to university;

• Against bullying 100 per cent. Our school has a clear and detailed anti-bullying policy to supplement the code of conduct. Our principal has made sure that every grade knows how we should treat one another and has made the consequences of bullying known. Our principal and vice-principals take bullying issues very seriously.

• A home away from home, where everyone has a place to be.

Our mission as a school is to be a caring community that instills a love of learning, values citizenship and pursues excellence. We try to make every person feel safe, connected, engaged and challenged.

Do we have bullies? Yes. All schools do.

And, nearly every day in Leadership class we talk about how every individual person has the responsibility to help make this school a better place to be.

We don’t just blame the challenges of high school on other people. We try to make a difference — maybe that is why it upset us so much when we read Mr. Baird’s letter. We believe we are a school that has completely and passionately “received the message No Bullying Allowed.”

Mr. Baird, Highland Secondary is so much more than stairs.

Highland Secondary Leadership class,