Blue Shirt Day: Stomp Out Bullying

Alison Gormley and Alisha Pandya

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Empowering. Hopeful. Symbolic. Inspiring. Progressive. These are a handful of words that the Dobbs Ferry community used to describe Blue Shirt Day 2014. Bullying is a prevalent issue throughout the world, and Blue Shirt Day is the international day for bullying prevention. Schools all around the world have taken part in this event, Dobbs Ferry being one of countless schools.

On Monday, October 6th, numerous students and teachers wore blue shirts to school to illustrate their support for preventing bullying in schools. “Just looking around, walking in the hallways, I see so much blue everywhere! I think it is so breathtaking how our entire district just seems to come and band together as a barrier against bullying,” said freshman Molly Winiarski.

This event, coordinated  by Dobbs’ Speak Up and Stand Out Club (a first-year developed version of the previous FOR Club), is also an opportunity to raise bullying awareness, and to inform and educate the public in a widespread way. “There are many forms of bullying. It isn’t just when someone is physically harassed, it could also be when someone is emotionally bullied, excluded, or even cyberbullied,” said freshman Rebecca Cadenhead.

Founded by CEO Ross Ellis and established in 2005, the STOMPOut Bullying organization focuses on reducing and preventing bullying, cyberbullying, sexting and other digital abuse; educating against homophobia, racism and hatred; decreasing school absenteeism; and deterring violence in schools, online and in communities across the country. It is a day that helps to familiarize students (kids and teens), parents, teachers, and communities all over the world with the harsh realities about what goes on when someone is bullied.

Elena Brown, a Dobbs Ferry High School junior, is a teen ambassador for STOMPOut Bullying and is the co-president of the Speak Up and Stand Out Club at DFHS. She brought Blue Shirt Day to Dobbs Ferry four years ago. Brown was introduced to STOMPOut Bullying through her mom, who was a part of it, and this gave her the opportunity to meet the CEO/founder of the company, Ross Ellis.

As a teen ambassador, Brown speaks to different schools, summer camps, and even travels to places such as Washington D.C. to speak about the issue of bullying. “Anyone can help,” Brown says, “you can go the website, stompoutbullying.org, and even just standing up for others will make a big difference.”

Students were made aware and notified about this day predominantly through technology, to efficiently spread the word. It was mentioned on the high school Facebook page, the Dobbs Ferry High School app, and other social media sites, which helped the day rise to its full potential. A large blue banner was also made and hung up by the cafeteria, to really support and encourage this significant day.

“I think that Blue Shirt Day is an improved way to raise awareness about topics like this and represent the anti-bullying campaign and unite the school against bullying,” said sophomore Elizabeth Bloom, “When you see your friends all wearing blue, you inquire and obtain more information about the day and bullying.”

 

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