HAMILTON — Miles River middle-schoolers signed a pledge not to bully as part of the school's first anti-bullying day June 9.
The day was organized by the eighth-grade mentoring group H2O, which stands for "help to others." Special T-shirts for the day were designed by sixth-grader Stephanie Goodwin and Miles River parent Cami Beckman.
The day kicked off with a talk from Principal Matthew Fox, who emphasized students need to support each other, and not be a bystander to bullying, said life skills teacher Danielle Petrucci, adviser to H20 along with Spanish teacher Kristen Herzog.
The entire student body then viewed a film created by Petrucci, in which bullying incidents were acted out by eighth-grade students. Discussion followed on how the situations in the film could best be handled.
The H2O mentors then lined up on the auditorium stage to individually state what a bully-free school looks like to them — a place without prejudice or name-calling, Petrucci said.
"The energy of the crowd was contagious," Petrucci wrote in a press release. "It was an unforgettable day at Miles River Middle School where students went home feeling empowered and ready to stop bullying!"
Later in the day, each student signed a hand, cut from colored paper, that read "bullying stops here."
The hands will be displayed on the walls of the school as a reminder of their anti-bullying promise to each other, Petrucci said.
— Bethany Bray