Bullying among teenagers is a global problem. Our school was going to conduct a life class catering to issues related to bullying to educate the students about its impact on individuals and the general school environment. By doing this, the school was hoping to get a closer look at its causes and hence move towards reducing the problem. We were approached by our Language teacher, Vagisha Ma’am who wanted students themselves to promote anti-bullying and wanted us to do something to make our school a more safe and welcoming place. A few of my friends and I came up with an idea of painting walls around the school. The main purpose of which was to promote kindness and to create a positive environment to stop bullying. Personally, I was really excited to put this plan into action as the issue we were catering to is affecting a lot of people around me and hence it was a great deal for me to contribute to stopping it. And also because painting has always been my passion.
I had always admired the work of a New York-based artist, Kelsey Montague. We painted two walls in our school both of which were inspired by her murals. On one of the walls, we painted a pair of giant butterfly wings which can be seen as a metaphor for freedom. It is to tell the students that they can do whatever they want without caring about what others might think of them. On the other wall, we painted a pair of flexing biceps which represents strength, giving away the same message that you can do anything.
The learning outcomes achieved in this endeavor are:-
LO2-Demonstrate that challenges have been undertaken, developing new skills in the process. We knew that we were going to face many difficulties because none of us had painted anything on such a large scale before. The most grueling challenge we faced was painting on areas which were very high above the ground. We tried climbing up on tables to reach there, but it was still very high. To overcome this obstacle we had to teach the tall members of our team who were less experienced in working with a paintbrush to paint without crossing the border.
LO3- Demonstrate how to initiate and plan a CAS experience. Painting something on such an extensive wall required a lot of planning. To begin with, we had to search for a suitable place and take permission from the school. According to that place, we had to plan out the whole graffiti beforehand. Then we had to arrange the resources and gather experienced and skilled students who could help us with the completion of the project.
LO5- Demonstrate the skills and recognize the benefits of working collaboratively. We cultivated our communication and social skills by working collaboratively. We had to make sure that everyone’s ideas are heard and respected. Only by keeping everyone’s proposals in mind, we were able to come up with the most innovative ideas and solutions.
LO6- Demonstrate engagement with issues of global significance. As mentioned earlier bullying is an issue faced by children all around the world, and so by doing this, we catered to this issue in our school.
LO7- Recognize and consider the ethics of choices and actions. Because this graffiti was going to be visible to a lot of students, including those being bullied, we had to make sure that students do not misunderstand any message we put forward and that they positively take our message.
Now that it is done, I can say with surety that we have achieved our goals because every time I walk past that wall, the vibrant colors never forget to create a happy vibe. I have seen many students and other school members stop by the wall to take pictures and this is how I know that this vibe is being transferred to many people.
It was a very lengthy and demanding activity. We learned a lot throughout the same.