ST. ED'S COMMUNITY COMES TOGETHER FOR "EMPOWERED TO STOP BULLYING" INITIATIVE
To commemorate World Day of Bullying Prevention, St. Ed's Diversity Club, led by Vice President of Equity and Inclusion Mr. James Knight, created the "Empowered to Stop Bullying" initiative. Pulling from St. Ed's "Empowered" theme, 30 signs with "Empowered to Stop Bullying" messages and anti-bullying statistics have filled the halls all week long. The signs, colored in bright blue, are a nod to other anti-bullying programs and bullying prevention initiatives nationwide. Students were also encouraged to wear blue on Monday to symbolize solidarity and community rallying around this initiative. "The power behind the 'Empowered to Stop Bullying' message is to encourage our students and community to speak up and stand up as allies against bullying," says Mr. Knight. "What's been powerful to me is seeing students walking down the halls to stop and read the signs that display facts about bullying. Just watching them process the information they read and start conversations of their own about these topics is really moving."
Some of the statistics displayed on these signs mention how one in five students report being bullied and that more than half of bullying situations stop when peers intervene on behalf of those being bullied. "It is important for our community to do the things necessary to ensure that every student feels safe in this school and walking down these halls," says Mr. Knight. "Part of that safety not only includes physical safety, but also mental, emotional and cultural safety." Students were encouraged to come together in unity to sign a large "Empowered to Stop Bullying" banner to take a stand against bullying and pledge to do their part in making St. Ed's a positive school environment.
In addition to the "Empowered to Stop Bullying" signs, students have hung "Be the Difference" signage in every classroom and hallway since the beginning of the school year to encourage students to report any bias incidents that occur on campus. These signs remind students and members of the St. Ed's community to have mutual respect and acceptance for all forms of diversity while providing them with a new resource to report any instances that goes against this motto. "St. Ed's is committed to providing a safe environment for its students," says Mr. Knight. "Our 'Empowered to Stop Bullying' and 'Be the Difference' initiatives line up with the vision of our school to continue to find innovative ways to build a safer, more inclusive community that upholds our Holy Cross values. Moving forward, St. Ed's Diversity Club will continue promoting messages of love and togetherness. We feel it is important for students to know that they have allies and brothers who will stand with them and appreciate them for who they are and the uniqueness they bring to the St. Ed's community."