This year, Netcong Elementary School students will participate in several activities over the course of these two weeks to increase their awareness on school violence and tolerance for those who are different. Some of the activities that will take place during the Week of Respect are: Random Acts of Kindness Day, Wear Blue to Stomp Out Bullying Day, Create a Human Rainbow and Celebrate your Culture Day.
Teachers were provided with links to videos as springboards for discussion on why it is important to respect and embrace all human beings.
“With social media and cell phones with video capability available to most everyone, it is more important now than ever before that students are taught why it is important to respect individuals regardless of their differences,” said Netcong Elementary School’s Assistant
Principal, Kathleen Walsh. “Students have the ability to post things on social media as a ‘joke’ and sometimes do not realize the repercussions of their actions in doing so. We all need to embrace other human beings and celebrate what makes us unique rather than bringing each other down because we might be different.”
One of the new activities that Walsh brought in this year for Week of Respect was The NED Show, a free interactive show for students using a narrative, a yo-yo and magic tricks. The acronym stands for “Never Give Up; Encourage Others; and Do Your Best” which goes well with the tenets of Week of Respect.
During School Violence Awareness Week, students will participate in various activities including using tootsie roll pops to teach tolerance, creating a peace space, human bingo, and the torn heart.
“Raising awareness regarding school violence is key to eradicating violence in our schools,” says Walsh. “Every child, adolescent, and teenager deserves to be in a safe environment where they are comfortable learning. It is my hope that as we continue to educate our students about topics like school violence that we will empower them to take a stand against supporting violent behavior in our schools and stand up and make the right decisions in difficult situations they may encounter.”
Students at Netcong will also participate in Red Ribbon Week which will take place between Oct. 23 to Oct. 31. Members of Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) Club along with their moderators, Danielle Painter and Jane Morin came up with spirit days to raise awareness on making good choices and not succumbing to peer pressure when it comes to doing drugs or drinking alcohol.
“Our goal as educators is to increase students’ awareness about the dangers of drugs and alcohol and provide the students in our school with the tools they need to make positive and healthy choices in their lives,” said Morin in a statement.