Bikers carry the ‘non-violence towards women’ message to school
BIKERS promoting non-violence rolled in to Linden School for White Ribbon Week.
The 18 motorcyclists spoke to the children about the importance of behaving in non-violent ways towards each other, and particularly women.
The Patriots Defence Force Motorcycle Club and Te Ahi Kikoha motorcycling group began their ride in Rotorua.
Teacher and organiser Dave Malcolm says the bikers’ visit was timely in the light of a recent stabbing in Tawa in which a woman died.
The school has a programme, Growing Greater Men, which focuses on behaviours promoted by the White Ribbon campaign.
“It’s great to have male role models come in and speak to our children. Some have been involved with family violence themselves and have changed.”
The Patriots Club is for current and former members of any New Zealand armed forces.
Leader Aaron Morrison says they are doing their jobs as service men and women, in uniform and out.
Te Ahi Kikoha leader Tony Brooking says the cause is close to his club members’ hearts. He says this year the focus is looking at men as part of the solution to the problem of violence against women.
The bikers have been riding for this cause for some years. They invite men to join them in taking the pledge not to commit, condone or stand silent against violence towards women.
“It is important to get the message out into the community. Many in this group have experienced family violence in one way or another.”
Linden School pupils welcomed the bikers with songs and dances. The children were very attentive, and joined in with hand claps and chanting led by Mr Brooking and Mr Morrison.
To end the special assembly, Linden principal Christine Brown presented Mr Morrison with a donation for the cause.
After assembly, the children were allowed to have a turn sitting on the bikes.
Teachers were enjoying it as much as the pupils — until the children were shown where the horn was.
Mr Morrison says the children at Linden had the right spirit and New Zealand should follow their example.
“Kids these days aren’t silly. We are guardians of the message, and we’re passing it on,” Mr Morrison said before the bikers roared off down the road.