North Point participates in walk for Unity Day 2018
In observance of National Bullying Prevention Month, North Point High School’s Teacher Academy of Maryland program held a student-led walk for Unity Day 2018 on Oct. 24 in Waldorf as part of anti-bullying week.
More than three dozen students participated in the walk which took place outside. Several members of the marching band formed a small drumline as they slowly led their peers around the school’s track, playing loud tunes with their drums and cymbals.
“The purpose of today was to have a walk to stand against bullying and to also promote inclusiveness and community amongst all cultures and diversities,” said Christine Paul, an administrative intern at North Point. “Just with our student population here and for the school system as a whole, our motto this year is to choose kindness. We were hoping that the unity walk promotes those values.”
According to StopBullying.gov, kindness is one of the most significant contributors to a positive school climate. Bullying prevention at school starts with establishing and enforcing rules or policies that describe how students are expected to treat each other, and by using lessons and activities to help students learn about their roles and responsibilities.
“This is the [students’] project for the year under the Teacher Academy of Maryland [program],” Paul said. “The students recreated and signed posters all week to show off their pride. We’re just hoping to sprinkle a little kindness and achieve something with this walk.”
Although there are no federal mandates for bullying curricula or staff training, StopBullying. gov advises that all school staff need to be trained on what bullying is, what the school’s policies and rules are and how to enforce those rules. In addition, training can be successful when staff are engaged in
developing messages and content, especially when they feel that their voices are being heard.
“We all need to work together to make sure that the rights of all adults and students are upheld, and that we work together as a team whether it be in the classroom or in the community,” Teacher Academy Program instructor Debbie Davis said. “We have done this for the past three years so every year has looked a little bit different, depending on what the students felt would be most powerful to get the message across.
For senior Katie Volland, participating in the Unity Day walk was a meaningful experience that she is glad to have done with her peers.
“I think that it is important because when people understood what it was about, we got more kids to join because it is not just a normal thing. We want to prevent bullying,” Volland said. “We wanted to make sure more people wanted to be part of it.”
Student members of North Point High School’s marching band and Teacher Academy of Maryland program participate in a Unity Day walk on Oct. 24 in Waldorf as part of Anti-Bullying Week 2018 for National Bullying Prevention Month.