They did it with orange. Wearing orange shirts, students made posters, created videos and held rallies at area schools on Oct. 10 to celebrate Unity Day in observance of National Bullying Awareness Month.
In Mount Sinai Elementary School celebrated by encouraging students to come to school in orange and took a photograph of students on the athletic field standing in formation to spell out the word unity.
Assistant Principal Linda Chase said it demonstrated a “powerful message.”
“We, as a school, believe that one of the best ways to stand up against bullying is to stand unified as a community, embracing everyone’s unique qualities and individuality,” she said.
Third graders also did a poster project and UNITY gathering as well, which Chase said, “symbolized them all joining together as one.”
“It was a terrific day,” said school principal, John Gentilcore.
The theme was incorporated into other areas of learning like Character Education, Art, Physical Education and Social Studies.
At Port Jefferson Middle School students also dressed in orange and English teacher Deirdre Filippi and special education teacher Monica Consalvo collaborated to raise awareness of bullying prevention.
“Deirdre and I felt that this would be a great event because of the recent initiatives of the Dignity for All Students Act,” Consalvo said, referring to the legislation effected July 1 that requires New York State schools to have policies in place that address bullying, conflict and harassment.
“Bullying changes people’s lives,” said Jack McGorry, a middle school student.
Maddi Leon, another student said that some kids don’t even realize they are bullies.
“That’s why it’s important for everyone to take things like this seriously and confront bullies,” she said.
Students also made posters to show bullying statistics and facts, displaying them around the school.
Candace Donin, co-founder of New York Families Against Bullying (NYFAB) said her organization teamed up with Mt. Sinai School District Middle and High School student councils to plan a day of Unity. The slogan “Unity in the Community” was chosen by student council members and advisors.
“NYFAB purchased blue wristbands with this slogan which were sold in the Middle School and High School stores the day of the event,” Donin said in a statement. “The proceeds of these sales went directly to the Middle School and High School for help in future events that will promote unity and anti-bullying awareness.”
Students and staff in the Middle School and High School wore blue shirts to school the day of the event.
NYFAB also sponsored a Unity Day essay contest in the elementary school but winners have not been announced yet.
Did you school celebrate Unity Day in observance of Anti-Bullying Month? Upload your photos here and share your anti-bullying message in the comments below.