Port Washington students unite to stand up against bullying, promote kindness

Port Washington students unite to stand up against bullying, promote kindness
Students, community members parade around the track wearing orange and holding anti-bullying for Unity Day. (Photo by Cameryn Oakes)

A sea of orange swallowed up the Port Washington School District Wednesday as students from elementary to high school wore orange and participated in activities to stand up against bullying for the annual Unity Day.

Unity Day is a national event led by PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center that the Port Washington School District has been participating in for about a decade.

The day’s events were coordinated by the Schreiber High School Letter Club, which operates under the motto of “Athletes for a Better Community,” working alongside the Anti-Defamation League.

Jose Mejia, a social worker at Schreiber High School, said that bullying and cyberbullying have been a big issue in today’s culture and Unity Day is a way for the community to unite against it.

“This day provides us with an opportunity to stand together and not only stand up against bullying, but spread kindness and love throughout our school and community,” Letter Club Co-President Tali Saunders said. “There are many things we cannot control, but we can control our actions and behavior towards our work.”

Saunders said that uniting for this cause is what can help create a “kinder, more accepting and inclusive community.”

“We can choose to set an example and show kindness and respect towards one another today and always,” Saunders said. “You never know how much someone may be struggling on the inside and you can make a positive difference in their life with your words, actions and presence.”

Posters lined the hallways of the Port Washington schools, adorning the lobbies with orange as students and faculty signed on to the posters to express their devotion to the cause.

The culminating event of the day was the walk around the track, with students creating a sea of orange as they paraded with banners and signs.

Nick Schratwieser, the district director of Health, Physical Education and Athletics, said the purpose of the day was to come together as a community to stand up against bullying and promote inclusivity.

“While the district has been participating in Unity Day for many, many years, I think now more than ever it’s important to continue this practice and this mantra that we are committed to all of our students,” Schratwiesser said.

While Unity Day was a single day celebration, Saunders said that the kindness fostered that day can be carried out every day thereafter.

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