Thanks to the student leaders in our school system, we have a week full of opportunities to address and learn about positive ways to improve the outlook of everyone in schools and take another step closer to stomping out bullying:
Monday, March 3
Wear ORANGE - The word of the day is UNITY.
Sign the pledge and get a reminder of your pledge.
Tuesday, March 4
Wear GREEN - The word of the day is EMPATHY.
Make a new friend, and sit with someone different at lunch.
Wednesday, March 5
Wear BLUE - The word of the day is KINDNESS.
Write a kind message to or about someone on the "Loving is Louder" banner.
Thursday, March 6
Wear RED - The word of the day is RESPECT.
Tweet positive messages with the hashtag #LovingIsLouder.
Friday, March 7
Wear PURPLE - The word of the day is POSITIVITY.
Discuss ways to keep the positive momentum beyond this week.
Moving forward, please take advantage of these bullying-specific thoughts and resources:
Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Both kids who are bullied and who bully others may have serious, lasting problems.
In order to be considered bullying, the behavior must be aggressive and include:
- An Imbalance of Power: Kids who bully use their power—such as physical strength, access to embarrassing information, or popularity—to control or harm others. Power imbalances can change over time and in different situations, even if they involve the same people.
- Repetition: Bullying behaviors happen more than once or have the potential to happen more than once.
Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose. (From www.stopbullying.gov)
At our school, this type of bullying tends to be experienced among girls who are committing, or being victimized by, relational aggression... or by boys who are directly threatening one another in a traditional sense. Unfortunately, the girls tend to have a hard time honoring their commitments to stop, and the boys are too afraid to stand up and bystanders are unwilling to become upstanders.
Thankfully, at our school, both of these bullying trends are not as pervasive as they are in middle schools everywhere. However, just because this doesn't happen as often as it could does not mean that it's acceptable to happen at all.
We are a community. We all have the same goals - for all students to graduate from high school college and career ready, which includes having the confidence to move forward with our lives, as well as the social skills to feel good about ourselves without putting others down. As a community, we are represented by many different experiences, all of whom are potentially at risk for bullying. High school is not a competition; it is a cooperative effort. Please never hesitate to be an upstander, and always look out for those who may be seeking a connection.
It is imperative that you find your #PHSfit - not just with regard to classes, colleges, careers, and clubs, but also with connections. If something doesn't feel right about a peer group that you are with currently, don't be afraid to stand up for what you believe is right. Focus on what is really important - your future - and people whose values are aligned with yours are sure to come along.
If all else fails, ask yourself any of these questions:
What would my grandmother want me to do in this situation?
What would my ten-years-from-now self want me to do in this situation?
Would my own child be proud of the choice I'm about to make?