October is National Bullying Prevention month and this week at Royster Middle School is Anti-Bullying week.
Students and staff are participating with themed dress-up days: Monday was crazy sock day because “we pick our friends by their character and our socks by their color.” Tuesday was hat day because “we put a cap on hate.” Wednesday is National Unity day, and the students will be wearing orange to show their unity. Thursday is inside out day because “inside we’re all the same.” Friday’s theme is “Royster is United” and they will be showing that unity by wearing Royster red and black.
“I enjoy spirit week, and people wearing different things. It makes me feel not judged,” sixth grader Ricci Fogle said.
RMS counselor Jennifer Inbody has been organizing the project for the last eight years, as requested by the State of Kansas.
“This year the theme blossomed from ‘to treat other people more kindly’ and then we broadened that into accepting diversity, so with that idea of diversity, it sparked some plans for the week.” Inbody said.
She has been giving lessons for students on what diversity is, and how acceptance and diversity correlate with the anti-bullying message.
In addition to the dress up days and lessons, teachers have been finding ways to incorporate the theme into their daily curriculum. Physical Education teacher Teri Lund challenged students to choose kids who they wouldn’t normally have chosen in order to make more diverse teams.
With the various ways that the anti-bullying message has been promoted this week at the middle school, Inbody feels that it makes a difference.
“I always like to think at this level we plant a seed that will maybe grow into something,” she said. “I may not see the impact right now but I hope that it makes them a better person in the future.”
Royster is not the only school participating in the Anti-Bullying activities; both Chanute High School and Chanute Elementary are participating in the National Day of Unity by wearing orange. There will also be an assembly and activities Monday at CHS.