Tolerance promoted through silence

Baulkham Hills High School students will have the right to remain silent during lessons on Monday as part of the school's Awareness, Acceptance and Anti-discrimination (AAA) Week.

Year 12 prefects, who organised the event, which aims to eradicate bullying and promote tolerance, will hand out silence cards which are valid for one hour, and represent suffering in silence as many victims of discrimination do.

Other activities include a multicultural mufti-day and a breakfast to raise funds for Redbank School, a combined education and health facility which treats children and adolescents with behavioural or psychiatric difficulties.

'Compliment cards' will allow students to write nice messages to teachers and each other throughout the week.

Prefect Janice Teng said the activities would help raise school spirit and promote integration between the grades.

"This way you can encourage positive thinking," she said.

"It can be anonymous, but it's still nice to know that someone went out of their way to write a compliment to you."

Prefects Kalyan Raguram and Margaret Zhao will also deliver a talk on bullying to year 7.

"There are people that you know in person and then cyberspace bullies as well, so I think it's more important now than ever," Margaret said.

"It might be completely fabricated but you can internalise that sort of thing."

Fellow prefect Karen Gan agreed.

"It can be really hard to escape from cyber bullying. With physical bullying when you go home you have your own refuge, but the internet is everywhere. At some stage everyone will be exposed to bullying. It's more about educating people on how to minimise it and respond to the impacts that you face."

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