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2012-04-13 at 17:36

Students get lessons in gender equality

By Jodi Lundmark,
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About 55 Grade 6, 7 and 8 male students learned how to deal with issues of violence in healthy and cooperative ways Friday.

The Lakehead Elementary Teachers and Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario hosted the second annual Boys Conference at the Prince Arthur Waterfront Hotel Friday to teach male students about issues of gender equality.

Students learned about stress management through activities like tai chi and also learned how to think critically about messages in the media, particularly music and advertisements.

Vance Chapman Public School teacher Blake Pennycook said the conference focuses on issues of violence against women and educating the boys on the topic.

“Hopefully they can go back to their schools and their communities and take the information they’ve learned today and share it with their colleagues, their friends, their family, their classmates,” he said.

Pennycook said last year’s inaugural event was a success, so they decided to try it again this year. The reaction from the students was positive, although it was a bit new for some of them at first.

“By the end they could really identify with what the goals were of the conference and be able to take those tools back to their classrooms,” he said.

The participating schools choose students for the conference based on leadership abilities. They want those students to come back and share with the rest of their classmates.

Mack Thiboutot was representing Whitefish Valley Public School and said the day was fun and everybody seemed to be enjoying it.

“I think the message here is we have to be role models because not everybody’s a leader. Only some people can be leaders and the world needs more because there’s lots of followers,” he said.


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