Haldane Elementary School. (File Photo)

Bikers plan to give bullied Shuswap girl a lift

Two groups of motorcyclists from Alberta plan to visit Haldane Elementary on May 10.

A girl who has been bullied at a Shuswap elementary school is in need of a lift; two groups of bikers who have made it their mission to raise awareness of the harm caused by bullying plan to give it to her.

Nine-year-old Samiya Noor has been regularly tormented by other students at Chase’s Haldane Elementary, according to the girl’s grandmother Vicki Gustavson.

Gustavson said Noor has been the target of racial slurs, and an array of physical violence.

The torment began towards the end of Noor’s third grade year and got so bad Gustavson, who is Noor’s guardian, made the decision to homeschool the girl for approximately five months.

Upon Noor’s return to school the bullying continued. Gustavson said in a recent incident, Noor was knocked to the ground and had grass shoved into her mouth.

Read More: Students united in stance against bullying

Read More: Shuswap man takes Pink Shirt Day step further with pink beard

Gustavson said Noor even shaved off her eyebrows after being teased about them and hid a knife in her room with the intention of using it on herself.

“She just kind of withdrew from life and the world and she’s only nine years old,” Gustavson said of the way her granddaughter’s behaviour has changed since the bullying began.

In solidarity with what Noor is experiencing, two groups of anti-bullying motorcycle enthusiasts are planning a visit to Chase on Friday, May 10.

Steve Enns, the founder of Bullying Enns, one of the two groups of Albertan motorcycle enthusiasts who will be making the trip, is hopeful a visit from the bikers will improve Noor’s situation or at least lift her spirits.

Since founding the group in 2017, Enns has organized more than 40 rides in the Edmonton area where a group of bikers picks up or drops off bullying victims at school.

“In the past it’s kicked off a conversation and got kids talking to the bullied kids who might’ve never talked to them,” Enns said.

James Manley, a representative of Bikers are Buddies, a Calgary-based group which does anti-bullying work, said Noor’s story hits especially close to home for the Calgary riders. He said a nine-year-old girl in Calgary recently took her own life after being targeted by bullies.

Enns said the biggest thing he wants to impress on people ahead of the visit from the bikers is that this isn’t about intimidating bullies, but rather about starting a conversation and setting an example of sticking up for victims.

Read More: Opinion: Bullying rampant in Canadian society

Read More: EDITORIAL: Fight bullying every day

Manley said he is impressed by the way word of the Alberta bikers’ ride to B.C. has spread in the local community, kicking off a dialogue about the effects bullying can have and the way it is being handled in schools. He also said businesses along the bikers’ route have been supportive of the cause with Riders Retreat in Nakusp and Joe Schmucks Road House in Sicamous providing discounted accommodation.

Although she is pleased with the way community members have rallied around her granddaughter, Gustavson does not feel the school has done enough to protect the girl.

Rob Schoen, School District #73’s assistant superintendent in charge of elementary schools, said the district has clear policies against bullying and they have been followed at Haldane.

“We do have policies that relate to code of conduct bullying and cyber bullying. We take that very seriously; as soon as complaints of bullying are brought to the attention of the school or district we investigate them,” Schoen said.

The motorcyclists have been asked to stay off school property when they come to pick up Noor. Schoen said it is important they know that the school and district are not against their message, they are simply trying to avoid a distraction from the learning environment.

“We want to thank the motorcycle enthusiasts for the positive messaging. I think the more positive messaging we have out there in terms of anti bullying and supporting kindness is a beautiful thing,” he said.

Gustavson said she is immensely grateful for what the bikers are doing and plans to throw a backyard barbecue for them and any other members of the community interested in attending. Those interested in more information or contributing food can contact her at 250-879-0776.


@SalmonArm
jim.elliot@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Single-engine aircraft crashes near Telkwa

Two occupants of the plane sustained minor injuries and were transported to hospital

Cullen announces bid for provincial NDP nomination for Stikine riding

Current MLA Donaldson not seeking re-election

Anne Marie Sam seeks NDP nomination for Nechako Lakes riding

She also ran in 2017 but was defeated by BC Liberal John Rustad

Reserve a gym spot online with the Houston Leisure Facility

The online system is another step to make things easy during the pandemic

Bulk water, sewage project gets council’s approval

Facility to service large-scale users

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

70-year-old punched in the head in dispute over disability parking space in Nanaimo

Senior’s turban knocked off in incident at mall parking lot

Thousands of child care spaces coming to 35 B.C. communities

Province announces milestone in Childcare BC plan

Most Read