Siena Stampacchia (right) and mom Tami show off the wrist bands designed by the 14-year-old Lord Tweedsmuir student for her anti-bullying iniative. The Grade 9 student was spurred into action following the death of Port Coquitlam teen Amanda Todd.

Cloverdale teen shares anti-bullying SWAG

Siena Stampacchia plans to share message with other schools

When news of Amanda Todd’s death last fall reached the home of 14-year-old Cloverdale teen Siena Stampacchia, it sparked a debate.

“My brothers were saying that maybe she had brought this upon herself, but I thought, ‘no, this isn’t right,’” she recalled of the bullied Port Coquitlam student’s suicide. “I spoke to my mom and we talked about how there was so much more support after her death, but there was nothing there before to help her.”

After brainstorming, Siena and her mother, Tami, decided to begin a campaign that would encourage students to join together in order to stop bullies from singling out their victims.

The Safe With A Group (SWAG) initiative began in November, with Siena designing rubber wristbands that featured the acronym.

The aim of the wristbands – which feature pink, the national colour for anti-bullying day, and blue for its “calming and safe” effect – was to create a way to easily identify someone a bullying victim could rely on to help.

The sign of solidarity between those wearing a wristband and the victim would ease tension and provide support.

“Sometimes with a group, it’s easier to stand up for someone. It’s great to have one person saying bullying is wrong, but it’s great to have a group,” the Lord Tweedsmuir student explained. “We don’t want to bully the bully. We just want to take away their power and create a sense of support.”

With the help of her mom, a longtime employee of London Drugs, Siena was able to speak to the CEO of the company about selling her wristbands. Initially, only the Lower Mainland stores stocked them, but recently the wristbands have expanded past B.C. to Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

“We were only going to keep it local, but as more people heard about it, they said they needed it in their community,” Siena explained, noting that all the proceeds from the $3 wristbands benefit Kids Help Phone.

Now the soon-to-be Grade 10 student has set her sights on expanding the anti-bullying initiative throughout her school and eventually to other schools.

Helping her reach out to a broader audience is her Facebook page and Twitter account, which feature tips on how to prevent and stop bullying with different tasks.

“When people understand that there is more than saying ‘I’m not a bully’ and that there is something they can do to prevent it, that’s when it all works,” she said.

For more information on the campaign, visit www.facebook.com/SafeWithAGroup

 

 

Surrey North Delta Leader

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

Just Posted

Police warn of ‘dangerous’ sex offender, with ‘high risk to re-offend,’ living in Surrey

Howard Geddes-Skelding, 28, was released from BC Corrections Aug. 14, Surrey RCMP say

Now reopened, Surrey McDonald’s closed temporarily after possible COVID-19 exposure

Restaurant chain says employee had been ‘in contact with an individual who tested positive’

Surrey students paint mural, paying homage to First Nations, at SkyTrain station

Artwork to showcase ‘positivity and racial inclusivity in the city’

PHOTOS: Residents showcased as ‘companion’ sculpture unveiled

Amica White Rock welcomes bronze guardian, celebrates resident talent

‘Don’t kill my mom’: Ryan Reynolds calls on young British Columbians to be COVID-smart

‘Deadpool’ celebrity responds to premier’s call for social influence support

Death of 19-year-old killed in dramatic Fraser Valley car fire ruled ‘accidental’

Victim found with fentanyl in his system, bong and propane torch in front seat

Unofficial holidays: here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Aug. 16 to 22

World Photography Day, Black Cat Appreciation Day and Rum Day all coming up this week

Captain Horvat’s OT marker lifts Canucks to 4-3 win over Blues

Vancouver takes 2-0 lead in best-of-7 NHL playoff series with St. Louis

PHOTOS/VIDEO: Wings and Wheels set for weekend lift-off in Abbotsford

Fundraiser to raise money for Crystal Gala Foundation and the fight against breast cancer

Undercover video shows alleged animal abuse at Fraser Valley egg farm

One employee wearing logo of Chilliwack chicken-catching company already facing abuse charges

Widow of slain Red Deer doctor thanks community for support ahead of vigil

Fellow doctors, members of the public will gather for a physically-distanced vigil in central Alberta

Protesters showcase massive old yellow cedar as Port Renfrew area forest blockade continues

9.5-foot-wide yellow cedar measured by Ancient Forest Alliance campaigners in Fairy Creek watershed

Most Read