Back in October, Asia Club’s student leaders applied to participate in “Homeroom with Tan France,” a virtual program created by Act to Change. A national nonprofit, Act to Change advocates against bullying in the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. Anti-Asian hate has spiked during COVID-19, as reported by The New York Times, and the nonprofit knew they needed to address it. Act to Change found a creative way to engage middle and high school-aged students in this vital fight: via a Netflix celebrity. They tapped TV personality Tan France to lead their anti-bullying workshops and our Asia Club was ecstatic when they learned Head-Royce was one of ten schools chosen nation-wide.
On Thursday, December 3, seven Middle and Upper School students and faculty member Kyong Pak participated in the virtual workshop, learning how to create a safer, more inclusive school environment. Of the experience, Nina O. '21 said, “Tan taught me how to disagree with others while still showing such openness and grace.”
That grace was reflected in France’s strategies for disrupting bullying. “Tan France talked a lot about how it’s better to explain to the bully what is wrong about what they’re doing, rather than to just scold them,” says Rory S. ’25. “That makes an impact and it’s much more likely that the bully will realize that what they’re doing is wrong.”
For those students worried about teaching their peers, France offered another strategy. “I learned that a very good way to stand against bullying is to just say something,” says Tyler H. ’25. “If you don’t say something the issue will never come to light and that goes for if you're experiencing bullying or seeing bullying happen around you.”
Let’s all commit to taking these strategies to heart: speak up when you witness bias, even if you’re not sure why something is wrong. It’s best to admit what makes you uncomfortable, and chances are, other people nearby will pitch in. Our full community must work together to root out hate.