Words do hurt people.
“Names can hurt us, names can break hearts,” professional entertainer and educator Steve Harmer told Erskine and Donalda students last Thursday.
“Don’t get your pleasure from my pain,” Harmer said as part of his anti-bullying message.
Harmer, who was a principal, counsellor and teacher with Calgary’s Board of Education for 21 years, used magic to show the hundreds of students packed into Erskine school’s auditorium the magical road to respect with eight road signs along the way.
The road signs Harmer used to illustrate his point to students proclaimed, “Right way,” “No dissing here,” “No name calling,” “B U,” “U matter,” “Put ups Peace Place,” “Ridicule Free Zone,” and “Don’t laugh at me.”
Harmer said it boils down to respect.
“Stop using mean stuff in our life.”
He added that we poison each other with words, and he told the students that if they treat others the way they want to be treated, be courteous, listen, don’t insult, don’t bully, and don’t judge people, they will “be transformed like a butterfly.”
Harmer has brought his message to more than 1,300 public and private schools across Western Canada. He has also worked for 16 summers at Calaway Park in Calgary.
Harmer said he combined his skills as both an educator and magician to reach youth.
“I had this dream to do what I do.”