New Brunswick

Anti-bullying effort leads to award for Fredericton students

Some school students at George Street Middle School in Fredericton are being recognized nationally for their efforts to stop bullying.

A group of students from George Street Middle School in Fredericton are being recognized nationally for their efforts to stop bullying.

The Beyond the Hurt group is being given The Louise Russo Youth Award – which honours young people who have worked to reduce violence in their schools and in their communities.

Abby McAllister and Shelby Grant are two of 20 students who are part of their school's anti-bullying campaign.

All year they've been meeting with other students, parents and even politicians to talk about bullying.

They say they know what it's like from both sides — both were bullied, and for a time became bullies themselves.

"I’ve acknowledged that I have been a victim and a bully and bystander just like we acknowledge in our group as everybody does and I just wanted to changed that," McAllister said.

"Last year I decided that I wanted to become a part of the solution and not the problem," Grant said.

Beyond the Hurt is a Canadian Red Cross program that addresses bullying and peer pressure.

The George Street group has set up its own webpage where anyone can report or ask questions about bullying.

It's their initiative and an essay they wrote that won them the Louise Russo Youth Award.

Russo, who was a victim of crime, set up the award program to recognize young people who were making a difference.

"We are ecstatic that we got something as big as the national award, so I’m really proud of everybody in the group," McAllister said.

"Knowing we are being acknowledged is just a big step for us knowing what we are doing is helping," Grant said.

Bruce Van Stone is the students' adviser on the project.

"Just the scope of what they have done, the fact that they are doing it on a consistent, constant basis — I think that’s what maybe made us stand out," Van Stone said.

The Louise Russo Youth Awards will be handed out in May and a few of the George Street students will travel to Toronto to accept their award.