This past Wednesday, October 25th Oakdale High School students stood in solidarity with the hopes of uniting against bullying in our school and across the country by participating in Unity Day: A Day Together Against Bullying. This would become a day for students of all backgrounds and interests to spread a message of support, hope, and unity in hopes of spreading kindness, acceptance and an overall better educational environment.
For many, the idea was to make a bold statement that bullying has no place in our school. For other students, they found hope and positivity in the support of those who participated.
Sophomore Paige Detwiler reflected on the event, recalling, “I thought the whole day was cute. Personally I needed encouragement that day, it’s nice to have a little reminder that someone is looking out for you. Sometimes it’s the little things that help the most.”
For organizers of the event, this is exactly what they had hoped to accomplish. By wearing any form of bright orange, a bold message is sent to the entire community that OHS cares about creating a safe and supportive school and community.
In a statement from the director of PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center and Unity Day sponsor, Julie Hertzog reports, “More than one of every five school-aged children report being bullied,”.
Continuing, Hertzog states, “It’s important these students know they are not alone and that they have the right to feel safe. By joining together and wearing orange on Unity Day, we can send the unified message that we care about student’s physical and emotional health and that bullying will no longer be accepted in this society.”.
Out of all the students at Oakdale, many felt the positive impact that Unity Day had been created to spread.
Junior Julia Statt reflects on the day describing, “Unity Day brings attention to the epidemic that is bullying. It calls for the issue to be recognized, and rallies those in opposition to bullying together against the harassment of kids in the community. I feel like it will positively impact the school by bringing the Oakdale community closer together, and help students realize that bullying truly is an issue that needs to be solved.”