FHMS boys learn to be stand up men

Snow did not scare off the seventh-grade boys’ group to stand with SAFE San Juans Stand Up Men at the San Juan County courthouse to help take a stand against domestic violence.

“We just wrapped up a unit on bullying, and learning about being an ‘upstander’ rather than a ‘down stander,’” said Joyce Wells, Friday Harbor Middle School prevention intervention coordinator. “When they learned about the Stand Up Men as examples of upstanders, they really wanted to join them.”

Wells explained that there is also a girls group, and both groups learn social skills and examine what it means to be a boy or girl. Only a portion of the boys group was able to attend, as several were sick.

The boys, who were able to meet the Stand Up Men — Emanuel Santiago, Dawson Burke, and Torston Rachlen — were clearly excited to be part of the message as they grinned and waved at cars driving by, many who honked back in return.

“It has always been a priority of the Stand Up Men to work with youth and the schools,”said Richard Low, Stand Up Men co-ordinator, explaining the importance of education and prevention.

“Bring youth in, and change will happen,” he added.

For more information on the Stand Up Men, visit safesj.org, or stop by the courthouse from noon to 1 p.m., Friday, February 17, when they will be handing out Valentines.