Coquitlam teens start online anti-bullying campaign
A Facebook page called Charles Best Compliments anonymously sends out praise to high school students at a Coquitlam secondary school. Jan. 8, 2013. (Facebook)
Published Tuesday, January 8, 2013 10:33AM PST
Last Updated Tuesday, January 8, 2013 1:17PM PST
Students at a Coquitlam high school have started an anti-bullying campaign aimed at making teens feel good about themselves.
The Twitter and Facebook accounts, which send out random compliments to Dr. Charles Best Secondary School students, have gained hundreds of followers since being launched on Sunday.
The creators of the accounts, three female grade 10 students who wish to remain anonymous, said they heard of the idea after Port Coquitlam teen Amanda Todd committed suicide.
“Each one of us has been bullied at one time of our lives,” one of the girls said. “It’s a hard topic for us to hear about people teasing others and bringing people down, so we decided to make a page to make people feel good about themselves.”
The three teens hope the compliments will have a positive effect on the school, prevent bullying and help boost spirits of students who may be feeling down.
Principal Mary O’Neill said school administrators are still trying to figure out who is behind the initiative.
“The idea was to take a look at the positive in terms of being kind to people and that’s one way our students are trying to look at being positive and kind towards their fellow students and recognizing the good things,” O’Neill said.
“… you're the friendliest person I know. You've always got something positive to say about everyone and I love that about you. Don't ever change,” one post reads.
But some of the posts, which use student’s first and last names, may expose personal, private details.
For example, one post commends a student for choosing to wait until marriage to have sex.
O’Neill said the school is monitoring both the posts and comments for any negativity and she hasn’t seen any posts that are inappropriate.
“I think there could be a concern with some negative comments,” O’Neill said. “The response to the posts could be negative and that has to be monitored. The initial post gets vetted, but it’s the comments that we have to be looking out for.”
The creators of the accounts said the compliments are submitted to them by other students, but anything negative is filtered out or deleted. They also delete any compliments that are unwanted.
So far, the response from students and parents at the school has been largely positive, explained O’Neill.
“The intent is positive and that focus on the positive as opposed to focus on the negative is what the kids are trying to get across – and to be kinder to each other – our students are good at that.”