At a small high school – any high school really – cliques form, tensions develop, some students get picked on, some get left out. That’s why the student council of Revelstoke Secondary School has decided to take part in Love is Louder, a growing movement designed to promote inclusiveness around a message that “love and support are louder than any internal or external voice that brings us down.”
“Since we’re such a small high school there’s a lot of tensions. In a small community there’s also a lot of tensions. We want to make a sense of community,” said Hayley Copperthwaite, a grade 12 student and student council member at RSS. “We want people to realize how easy it is to do something small that’s positive – like holding a door for someone or saying, ‘Hey, you look nice today.’ Just things like that.”
The Love is Louder campaign was started by MTV, actress Brittany Snow and the Jed Foundation, whose mission is to promote emotional health and prevent suicide amongst college and university students. It was started in 2000 by Donna and Phil Satow after their son Jed committed suicide.
According to its website, the Love is Louder movement was designed to support “anyone feeling mistreated, misunderstood or alone,” and as a way to “address issues like bullying, negative self-image, discrimination, loneliness and depression.”
While RSS takes part in the anti-bullying Pink Shirt Day, Copperthwaite said the student council liked the Love is Louder message because of its positive message.
“We really liked it because it steered away from anti-bullying,” she said. “When you think about it, anti is a negative word and bullying is a negative word. We really wanted to go the route where it’s about how we can start respect and bringing love into the school and community, and just make more respectful kids.”
There will be two main events over the week. On Wednesday, May 22, the school is holding Superhero vs. Villains day. The idea is for students to create their own, unique alter-ego based on their own personalities.
“Play to your strengths and go to your individuality and make your own superhero out of that. I think it’s going to be really fun,” said Copperthwaite.
There will be a series of competitions that day – both physical and mental – for students to take part in. The idea is to celebrate every students’ qualities.
“It goes with Love is Louder where you play to your strengths and individualism,” said Copperthwaite.
On Friday, May 24, Elliott Brood is coming to RSS with support from the Young Promoters Network and sponsorship by the Revelstoke Arts Council and Columbia Basin Trust. They will play at an assembly in the gymnasium at noon. There will also be a series of media presentations created by student council members and by the wider Love is Louder campaign beforehand. The show is open to the public.
“We want as much community support as we can get,” said Copperthwaite. “We want to get all of Revelstoke behind this and into our message.”
While she will be graduating at the end of this year, Copperthwaite hopes Love is Louder will continue at the school and even spread throughout the community. They are selling Love is Louder bracelets for $1.
“So this year we get it out there and maybe next year we make it bigger and get community involvement,” she said. “I think it would be a really positive thing for Revelstoke.
“Everyone is really passionate about this so I think it’s going to carry on throughout the years.”
Find out more about Love is Louder at www.loveislouder.com or check out the RSS blog RSSloveislouder.blogspot.ca.