The term “bullying” has worked itself into our colloquial speech in recent years, with good reason. Bullying is recognized to be a prevalent and serious problem among school-aged children and is consequently the subject of numerous websites, public service announcements and anti-bullying campaigns.
Visitors to Mount Royal often comment on the polite and helpful attitude shown by students. It is common to see students holding the door for one another, showing concern if another student is hurt, assisting students younger than themselves. An environment of respect is cultivated and expected…in the classroom, on the athletic field, toward visitors, teachers, parents and classmates alike.
Arguably the most important lessons students learn at Mount Royal are lessons in virtue. Placing an emphasis on kindness, respect, forgiveness, loyalty, responsibility and compassion, and translating those virtues from a hypothetical ideal to every day action is key to ensuring an environment where each child is safe and respected. When a new student walks through the door, he or she is walking into a community where the norm is not to form cliques and harass isolated outcasts, but rather to accept all fellow students as friends equal in dignity and worth.
So why is Mount Royal not encountering the bullying issues that have become all too common in our society? Perhaps because virtue overrides culture and young people are eager to embrace friendship rather than animosity.