It’s Cool to Care

“It’s cool to care”

A St. Laurent school is now officially peaceful

Pascal LeBlanc
Montreal Express
June 15, 2007

Each year, sixth grade students from l’École bilingue Notre-Dame de Sion are asked to leave a heritage before they leave for high school; something that will ensure that they will never be forgotten. This year, they decided to apply for a membership at Peaceful Schools International (PSI) and on June 7th their wish was granted.

“It’s cool to care”


Sixth grade students and staff members of l’École bilingue Notre-Dame de Sion are thrilled to be part of Peaceful Schools International family. (Photo:Pascal LeBlanc)

On a beautiful Thursday morning, students, teachers and members of the staff gathered in the gymnasium for a very special ceremony. Principal Véronique Lemieux-Boyer first congratulated all the students involved with the project and the parents and teachers who helped them achieve their goal. She then reminded the audience the significance of this day for the school. “Today we are making a pledge; we are telling the whole world that our school will forever be peaceful”, said Mrs Lemieux-Boyer.

Regional representative for PSI, Judy Grant, followed with a brief history on how the organization first started. Following the death of her son after an incident with a bully, Halifax elementary teacher Hetty van Gurp resolved to take action. She decided that she would try to get rid of school violence by teaching lessons in living. Starting with her own students, Mrs van Gurp worked to foster a class atmosphere that discouraged all forms of aggression. People loved her idea so much that, in 2001, she created Peaceful Schools International, so that her peace lessons could be thought worldwide. All over the world, from Canada to Russia, all the way to Japan, more than 275 schools are now members of the PSI family.

Just before unveiling the Peaceful Schools International flag to the awaiting crowd, Mrs Grant asked the children to say “it’s cool to care” and of course they happily complied. The ceremony ended with the sixth grade students handing out pins that they designed themselves, representing their view of a peaceful school.

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