Thibodeau teaches students to value those who surround them
Thibodeau’s theme talked about care, and how as you get older you increase the number of things and people you care about. He wanted to encourage students to be involved in as much as possible now, and not look back in 30 years and regret missing out, the way many of his friends had.
He addressed how much students care about their favorite bands and sports teams, when the people they should care about are the ones who surround them every day.
“I lost my dad two years ago to cancer and not one member of ACDC showed up to the funeral. You know who showed up? Friends, family, people we grew up with, neighbors, people from our place of worship, and here is the craziest thing, me and my brother did a rough count and counted 33 people we went to high school with,” said Thibodeau.
He brought up bullying and talked about a girl who didn’t stop talking to a boy in class even though another girl had made fun of him. She didn’t change to please others; she was just a nice girl.
“You want a yearbook full of fun and nice is a good reputation,” said Thibodeau.
Bullying has become a big topic in the news in the past several years, and the WNY area was a topic of conversation when Jamey Rodemeyer, 14-year-old from Williamsville, took his life last year due to bullying.
“Years ago what was happening is kids were being bullied and there was maybe four or five students that might be involved, but now with the technology it’s huge,” said Dr. James Newton, Principal. “With the texting and Facebook that’s what’s making it such a big issue. So if someone says something mean to someone online thousands of people are seeing it.”
He said they call Monday’s “Facebook Monday,” because the students have 48 hours to be online and if they start an argument or say something mean, it gets confronted on Monday when they see each other in school and can cause problems.
“I think when we do programs like this, and ‘Rachel’s challenge,’ we try to do as many things as possible for care and for random acts of kindness,” said Dr. Newton. “If a student is sitting by themselves at the cafeteria we try to encourage other students to sit by them. We are constantly trying to promote bullying prevention.”