CROTON-ON-HUDSON -- Croton-Harmon Schools celebrated Unity Day Oct. 21, with students and staff members pledging to prevent bullying and support each other.
Throughout the month, students in each school took part in various activities and assemblies that emphasized a bullying prevention message.
At Pierre Van Cortlandt Middle School, students discussed what it means to be an “upstander” – a word coined to capture the behavior of someone who wants to help others and not be a bystander.
During their lunch periods, students signed a Unity Day banner and vowed to stand against bullying by creating an orange unity chain. They talked about ways they can reach out to their peers and make everyone feel welcomed at school.
“We don’t want kids to feel alone because they’re being bullied,” sixth-grader Paige Jones said.
PVC engaged in a number of activities all month as part of Bullying Prevention Month.
In addition, PVC has been named a Champion Against Bullying school by the national Parent Advocacy Coalition for Educational Rights for its involvement in Unity Day and Bullying Prevention Month.
Teen Leadership Council members at Croton-Harmon High School assisted other students in signing the Unity Day pledge banner and handed out orange “Croton Unites” bracelets.
The high school was the first school in the country to adopt the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program on Unity Day in 2014.
“I signed the pledge because I think it’s very important to establish a sense of community within a school,” said junior Jamie Zanfardino, a Teen Leadership Council member.
Carrie E. Tompkins Elementary School introduced the new Olweus Bullying Prevention Program during a special assembly and shared four new rules for the student body that included:
- We will not bully others.
- We will try to help students who are bullied.
- We will try to include students who are left out.
- If we know that someone is being bullied, we will tell an adult at school and at home.
The following day, students attended assemblies with James Vagias or “Magic Jim,” who presented his “Bully-Proof Your School: The Magic of School Part II” program.
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