by JASMINE ELSHAMY Staff Writer
Unity Day, held on Wednesday, October 10, was a part of Spirit Week at MTHS where students and staff were asked to wear orange to support equality and anti-bullying.
Unity Day is sponsored by PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center. According to PACER, Unity Day is “the day everyone can link together—in schools, communities and online—and send one large, ORANGE message of support to students who have experienced bullying.”
The reason that the student body is asked to wear orange is because PACER believes that the color is bold and very visible. It sends the message that people feel strongly about standing up to bullying.
“Make it orange and make it end! Unite against bullying! What are your true colors when it comes to bullying? If you care about students who are bullied and want bullying to end, make your color ORANGE on Unity Day,” says PACER on their official website.
This is the high school’s second year celebrating Unity Day during Spirit Week, and it is brought to us by the anti-bullying specialists Ms. Cathy Ielpi and Ms. Doreen Mullarney. They began it as a way to acknowledge the Week of Respect and School Violence Awareness week, which both take place during the month of October.
“Mrs. Mullarney and I are committed to helping MTHS become a safe and respectful school where all students feel that they have a voice. Unity Day is a great way for the student population to stand unified in their belief that everyone deserves to be respected,” says guidance counselor Ms. Ielpi.
Unity Day represents everybody who believes that bullying is wrong, and that all students deserve to feel safe and respected. The day is a great time for everyone to unite against harassment, intimidation, and bullying, and to send a message to those who have experienced any form of harassment, intimidation, and bullying that they are not alone.
“Unity Day is a great way for our school to show that we are against bullying and supportive of equality. I was proud to wear orange on Wednesday,” says sophomore Brina Haugland.
According to the 2011 National School Climate Survey, eight out of 10 (81.9 percent) of LGBT students reported being verbally harassed, and 38.3 percent reported being physically harassed. Unity Day offers an opportunity to let the LGBT community know that they have a voice and that others stand by them as well.
The Gay Straight Alliance, along with the Peace Ambassadors, helped organized and sponsor Unity Day at MTHS this year.
For more information about Unity Day, visit PACER’s website at http://www.pacer.org/bullying/nbpm/unity-day.asp.