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ReMEMBER Campaign Day 8: Peaceful Schools International

Hint: This featured member organization began after a mother + teacher lost her son to bullying.

...The roots of the organization go back 10 years earlier, to the day Hetty received the worst news a parent can ever hear. Her 14-year-old son Ben was injured after being thrown violently to the ground by a student who had bullied him. He later died of his injuries. The idea for PSI originated in the weeks after Ben passed away, when Hetty, still consumed by grief, looked up at the empty flagpole of the school where she taught. She turned to a colleague and said, “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if one day schools could earn the right to fly a flag declaring they are places of peace?”

The Basics: Peaceful Schools International or PSI is a "Canadian non-profit, charitable organization founded in 2001. PSI provides support to schools around the world that have declared a commitment to creating and maintaining a culture of peace." Their vision is simple - it is to create a global network of peaceful schools. They currently have over 350 members from Canada to Liberia to New Zealand.


  • They believe that creating a peaceful school is NOT just the responsibility of teachers, but it is the responsibility of parents, teachers, and students alike

  • Have you checked out their website? We feel peaceful just spending some time with its optimistic colors and inspiring stories

  • Powerful testimonials flood its history and prove that lives are truly changed through their efforts

The June 19, 2006 issue of a Time magazine article honouring Hetty van Gurp as a Canadian Hero, states:

“Betty Orr is the principal of Edenbrooke Primary School in Belfast, Northern Ireland, a deprived area where, she says, ‘violence is endemic.’ But since staff members began following van Gurp’s holistic path a few years ago, violent incidents have plummeted to about 12 a year from more than 200.”

i want to spend more time with PSI:

  • what an amazing list of documentaries and video clips. You're going to want to spend some time here

  • an extensive resource list for teachers and parents alike

Still not sure what this reMEMBER campaign business is all about?? Read this. Continue to spread the word about our members and the #reMEMBER Campaign! Join the conversation on twitter @ACIC

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