Bullying Prevention Pledge sign

October is National Bullying Prevention Month, and schools across the Ridgefield School District are raising awareness through a variety of projects. Unity Day, the Bucket Brigade, a Unity Tree, Pledge Posters, and video assemblies are just some of the events and activities happening in schools that are designed to help prevent bullying. 

Unity Day has been recognized in the United States since 2011 and is the signature event of National Bullying Prevention Month. Held each year on the third or fourth Wednesday of October, Unity Day kicked off several school-based activities on Oct. 20 this year. To participate in Unity Day, individuals, schools, communities, and businesses wear orange to unite for kindness, acceptance, and inclusion and to prevent students from being bullied. 

At South Ridge Elementary, a Unity Tree went up on a central bulletin board. After students completed the Second Step Bullying Prevention Unit, they wrote or drew pictures of ways they could help stop bullying onto hand-shaped cutouts. The orange paper hands became the leaves of the tree, representing the Unity Tree’s message of how communities are “Powerful When United.”

The Bucket Brigade is being used at several schools in the district. It helps demonstrate how each person can help others feel better with many small acts of kindness. Students wrote examples of positive gestures they could do for other students like “Be nice,” “Say I’m sorry,” “Share,” “Listen to others,” and “Follow the rules.” Next, students put these messages into a bucket in the commons. Before long, each bucket was filled to the brim with acts of kindness, showing how students can unite to make positive change in their schools.

In addition, many schools have large “pledge posters” with anti-bullying messages prominently displayed in their buildings. Students get lessons about bullying prevention and then sign the posters to pledge to stand against bullying.

Video assemblies were held on Unity Day at Union Ridge Elementary School and Sunset Ridge Intermediate School. The video events were presented in classrooms to provide information on how students can help prevent bullying and show kindness to others. 

The Ridgefield School District, its schools, students and employees are proud to stand united against bullying during national Bullying Prevention Month and beyond. 

“Positive behavior and anti-bullying awareness are reinforced in the classroom year-round,” said Kataira Smith, Assistant Director of Social-Emotional Learning. “As part of the Social Emotional Learning that teachers and counselors incorporate into the curriculum, the values of respect and kindness are always being taught and reinforced.”