Palmer Students Kick Off Anti-Bullying Campaign

There will soon be a puzzle at Palmer Elementary School with over 200 pieces. That’s because each student is creating their own piece, one that will be linked to all the others because, “everyone fits in the Palmer puzzle.”

The puzzle was just one of the activities students took part in to kick off the year-long anti-bullying OLWEUS program. Students also signed a pledge promising to not bully others, try to help students who are bullied and those who are left out, and tell an adult if they see someone bullied at school and at home.

“It’s helping a lot because over the years I remember kids getting bullied but now other kids are starting to stand up,” said 5th grader Nevaeh Youeles. “I remember kids aren’t as scared or embarrassed as they used to be.”

One of the lessons the students learned was how to be an upstander – someone who steps in to stop bullying.

“I think kids used to think, ‘Don’t join in, don’t join in.’ Now with the language of the upstander we’re definitely seeing things improve,” said Palmer Elementary principal Jamie Bernard.

“They have to get the message through that bullying is a world-wide problem and we can be the ones who stop it,” said 5th grader Jacob Galusha.

Palmer is one of a number of schools that observed Blue Shirt Day. October is National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month and to signify the importance of it, Stomp Out Bullying created Blue Shirt Day World Day of Bullying Prevention. It is a time when anti-bullying activities take place in schools and communities throughout the month of October.

The day is observed on the first Monday of every October and urges everyone to wear a blue shirt in solidarity making it the day that bullying prevention is heard around the world. The idea is to see a “sea of blue” across the globe. The Blue Shirt Day World Day of Bullying Prevention campaign is in its eighth year and has spanned the U.S., the U.K., Canada, Israel, Germany, Portugal and Korea.

“The kick-off is a great event but we’re diligent about making sure it’s not a one-and-done day,” said Bernard. “The real strength is having it continue all year long.”

5th-grade girl looking at the camera, smiling and holding a thumb upYoung girl wearing a tiara sitting in an auditorium looking straight ahead with other young girls around her

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