oct. 26, 2015
October is National Bullying Prevention Month, a time when communities unite to raise awareness of bullying prevention.
Bullying is physical, verbal or emotional harm or intimidation intentionally directed at a person or group of people. Unfortunately, statistics show one in every four students experience bullying and nearly all students will witness bullying during their years in school.
As part of National Bullying Prevention Month, students and staff at Liberty Central School District observed Unity Day, an annual event sponsored by PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center, on Wednesday, Oct. 21.
Unity Day is an effort that began in 2006 and is coordinated by PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center, a nonprofit organization that provides innovative resources for students, parents, and educators to build awareness that bullying is a serious community issue that impacts students’ education, physical and emotional health, and safety.
This day was just one of many ways Liberty Central School District displays its dedication to building empathy, eliminating bullying and igniting a movement of positive change within the school, said Middle School Principal Richard Schacher.
Parents, businesses and residents joined students and staff by donning orange shirts — the color of Unity Day — and participated in a range of activities around bullying prevention, such as singing songs, reading poems, signing anti-bullying pledges and decorating the halls with messages of kindness and compliments.
Additionally, students and teachers wrote messages on paper chains about how to make their schools safer, more welcoming and supportive environments. Students read books that focused on themes like unity, diversity, inclusion, positive behavior and being an "upstander" rather than a bystander.
School leaders say the idea is that by wearing similar articles of clothing, all members of the Liberty community can unite as one force to promote positive social interaction.
“We’re so thankful for the local organizations and businesses that helped support our cause,” said Mr. Schacher.
Liberty places an important yearlong focus on anti-bullying, because it creates a habit of behavior for them on how to treat people, he said.
Liberty Central School District is committed to providing a positive school environment where all students feel safe and can focus on learning. Click here for resources that can help students and parents find information, support and report bullying.