SHS students support Unity Day

Trinity Cline-Smith, Reporter

Students and staff members of SHS were asked to wear something orange on Oct. 8 in support of Unity Day. October is bullying awareness month, and Unity Day is held to show a stance against it.

All staff members were given an orange ribbon to pin onto their shirts, and students were asked to sign a pledge stating that they would refrain from bullying and bystanding without acting upon the situation. A different related video was shown each day of that week on SPTV. The videos were made by students, for students, in order to connect with them on a deeper level, according to SHS social worker Mrs. Jorie DePalma.

“I hope that they were really able to speak to students because it was their peers in the videos, and they were created by their peers… I hope that at least one of them spoke to everybody,” DePalma said.

DePalma is also the direct contact of the bully hotline here at SHS. If a student reports anything dealing with bullying, it goes directly to her. She says that even if the student is a mere bystander, they can help by either intervening the situation and standing up to the bully, calling the bully hotline or both. If the student has specific names, dates or times, that can also help in the investigations of the situations.

“I think one of the most important roles is that of the bystander… and I hope that students in our building feel comfortable standing up for (other) students,” Depalma said. “I think it’s really powerful when students stand up for each other.”

This was the main idea of the video shown in iPass on Unity Day, students standing up for other students. Senior Paul Crumpacker was an actor in this video, and he portrayed a gay student here at SHS. Crumpacker says that he was in Theatre Arts, and the student directors came in and started talking about the videos and how they needed certain roles played. He says that since he is gay, and they needed a “gay student” role, it was perfect.

Crumpacker says that he has been bullied before but isn’t currently bullied. He says that he doesn’t really see a point in all of it.

“I think (bullying is) ridiculous. I think it’s a way that people can feel better about themselves because they get to point out the bad things in other people,” Crumpacker said. “I think it’s drawn from ignorance… The only thing it does is bring people down.”