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August 06, 2012 12:00:00 AM
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A total of 10,000 people in Fiji have stood up to make a stand against bullying in their communities.

The organisers of the annual Make a Stand against Bullying initiative have had a surge of interest from many individuals who are ready to take an anti bullying pledge to end bullying on all sectors.

Fiji activist and reigning Hibiscus King Peter Waqavonovono said the world wide pledge this month will involve individuals making a silent reflection on what they can do to end bullying.

The event registered 12,000 people last year who also took pledges to end bullying the best way they could.

Waqavonovono in a statement said a large portion of persons registering are students of different high schools in Fiji.

"We are also pleased that two schools (Cathedral Secondary School and International Secondary School) will be focusing on Anti-Bullying messages during the annual 2012 Tadra Kahani Competition later this month."

“We are also excited as a King Contestant for this year’s Vodafone Hibiscus Festival Sailosi Sirisirivalu has made ending bullying in schools."

Waqavonovono said he will be using the Hibiscus Festival to raise more awareness and will work on a anti-bullying policy with the Ministry of Education on the Agenda.

Also, he said discussions are underway with Fiji’s Vude Prince Savuto Vakadewavosa who is uniting some of Fiji’s young artists for an anti-bullying advertisement.

Also part of a growing list of voluntary Anti-Bullying Ambassadors are lawyers, activists and artists.

Waqavonovono has also acknowledged that there is a new trend appearing in our schools in Fiji where victims of bullying are speaking out and taking their bullies to task through our Justice System and using their Schools Disciplinary Procedures.

He reiterated that bullying is an immoral act used to demean others who are different and as we have learnt through current trends, is a crime that can carry heavy sentences given the severity of the act and a even damaging effect on the School.

“This is why it is important that from the School management to the Student, those anti-bullying measures are taken and we respect others for their differences.”

By Ropate Valemei

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