San Benito school celebrates anti-bullying day

SAN BENITO — Orange is the symbol of unity at Sullivan Elementary.

Students and teachers in schools around the nation wore orange in solidarity with each other during Unity Day.

Unity Day is the signature day of National Bullying Prevention Month created by the PACER Center, an organization that assists families with children who have disabilities.

The students at Sullivan Elementary took part in the annual event with various activities, earlier this week.

During the morning, each grade level presented their anti-bully poster they created as a group and sang “Gold” by Britt Nicole.

The day included the school’s pep squad, which performed a cheer that included the rest of the school.

Sullivan Elementary counselor Nora Cortez said the school has been celebrating Unity Day for the past five years.

Cortez said she was looking for new activities for the students to take part in to recognize the month.

“I wasn’t aware of it but I saw it online and I brought it to the principal’s attention,” Cortez said.

Cortez said in the weeks leading up to October, students begin asking her about the upcoming activities.

“The students already expect it,” Cortez said. “It’s something they look forward to.”

According to Cortez, efforts to prevent bullying are made year-round.

Students recite an anti-bullying pledge every morning and they along with their parents are asked to sign an anti-bullying contract at the beginning of each year.

“It’s working very well,” Cortez said. “We don’t have a problem.”

Cortez said a box is posted outside her office for anonymous notes in case any student is having difficulties in school and said students are actively encouraged to speak up when they are having a problem.

Cortez said it has become something that is normal and a custom now.