Hearing nine words come out of her daughter’s mouth changed Tamicia Currie’s life.
“She said, ‘I wish I would have never gone to school today,’” Currie said. “For me it really was one of the most shocking assertions coming from a child that wakes up every day excited to learn and she completes her homework on time with ease. It was really what she wasn’t saying that reeled me in. I looked at her and I could tell that she felt violated.”
After her daughter’s admission Currie began to notice many kids who seemed to be having a problem with conflict resolution and the fact that the schools didn’t know how to deal with it either. She realized it was definitely a problem and while her daughter had her to fight for her, not all kids are so lucky.
“I do remember how I felt that day after leaving the school thinking to myself, something has to be done,” Currie said. “These children are really feeling like they don’t have any help. There’s no outlet for them to plug into. I remember leaving that day and feeling like I need to get something done.”
Taking her background in character education and creating youth programs, Currie began to build a program to help children and adults deal with conflict and bullying. She developed what she calls the nine creed or nine virtues to fight bullying, and began testing them on her own kids and in her own life. The words are integrity, forgiveness, compassion, completeness, tolerance, selflessness, leadership, unity and generosity.
As the nine creed developed so did a curriculum to teach those nine words to kids and adults. With help from other Ahwatukee Foothills residents and friends Currie built I Will Not Bully, Inc. to take her curriculum wherever it is needed.
“In doing my research and studying this out I realized the underlying cause of bullying is conflict,” Currie said. “Where there’s conflict you need to have a resolution, but before you can even get to a resolution you need to have a strategy. This is the strategy. It works, it’s working and it can continue to work in our communities, our homes and our schools.”
The nonprofit hopes to be a resource for schools, communities and parents to use. They provide counseling, intervention, mentoring and mediation, community resources, training and workshops, and recreation. Currie said her goal is to make their group very relationship oriented.
Tara Hamilton, an Ahwatukee resident and community relations liaison for the group, said she got involved because as a mother the program spoke to her. It’s not just about identifying who is a bully, it’s about looking at yourself and making a pledge to refuse to bully.
“I think that one thing I would like people to know is we are for the good in everybody,” Hamilton said. “It’s not like we are helping the victims or the bullied only to take a stand, but we are talking about everyone communicating well.”
The group has already begun hosting workshops with groups across the Valley. They have a workshop planned in Ahwatukee Foothills on April 28 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Pecos Community Center, 17010 S. 48th St. The workshop is a chance for parents to come out and hear about the program, ask questions and teach their own kids about bullying.
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