In early March, the grades 7, 8, and 9 students of Belanger Memorial in Doyles had the pleasure of being a part of an incredibly powerful presentation by Leah Parsons, mother of the late Nova Scotia teenager Rehtaeh Parsons.
Leah, speaking as a voice for her daughter, spoke of her Rehtaeh's struggles in the weeks and months leading to her suicide at the age of 17. Rehtaeh took her own life as the result of sexual humiliation and bullying by her peers, which continued for months after initially being raped while hanging out with friends.
The presentation brought forth several issues, including how a situation can get out of control, how our actions affect others, and how a person's life can be destroyed by our words and actions.
Gabrielle Keeping, a Grade 8 student, was moved by Leah's presentation. 'It was very sad, and very powerful, and the fact that her mother actually came in, and talked about all that happened to her was amazing.'
Leah Parsons presentation reinforced District and school policy against bullying and cyber bullying, in particular.