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Carthage High School kicks off antibullying week

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CARTHAGE — High school students here are taking an active stance against bullying.

Starting today, students will kick off a week of antibullying events as part of the Dignity for All Students Act, which went into effect July 1.

Assistant Principal Karen M. Jamieson said the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program encourages schools to “have some sort of kickoff event, and they suggest we don’t have it at the beginning of the year.”

“It was all student-planned,” Mrs. Jamieson said.

She said teachers started talking about the kickoff week as early as last August. The Olweus student board began planning activities in October.

“The students really wanted to make sure they focused on positive things,” Mrs. Jamieson said.

At the start of the week, a banner will be hung in the commons area on which students can write pledges not to bully others.

Bigger events include a multicultural fair Tuesday, a chain reaction of positive messages Thursday and a visit by motivational speaker and one-man volleyball team Bob Holmes on Friday.

According to the kickoff outline, on Thursday, “Olweus student board members will each have a stack of 40 ‘positive statement cards’ created by Key Club students. The board members will safety pin a positive message on a friend and give him/her a card to share with one other student to start a ‘chain reaction.’ Board members will continue this until they have pinned 20 cards and given out 20 more.”

By the end of the day, the students hope to have given out 950 cards — one for each person in the school.

Each day also will be represented by a color:

n Today, students will wear yellow if they have been verbally assaulted or witnessed another being verbally assaulted.

n On Tuesday, students will wear blue if they have been cyber-bullied or witnessed it happening to another.

n On Wednesday, students will wear purple to represent emotional bullying.

n On Thursday, students will wear red to represent physical bullying.

n On Friday, students will wear white as a pledge against bullying.

“We’re trying to show that it’s not OK for kids to be ill of other kids,” Mrs. Jamieson said.

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