LAPS NEWS RELEASE
In 2006, PACER Center started a national movement to raise awareness about the devastating impact and often long-term effects that bullying can cause. Each October, PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center leads a campaign that unites individuals around the nation and the world with the powerful message that bullying should never be a part of childhood.
The Los Alamos Public Schools District celebrates Unity Day each year to share this message. Students, staff, families, and community members are invited to wear orange on Wednesday, October 18th to raise awareness and demonstrate their commitment to this cause. Now more than ever, it is crucial to join together in creating a world that is kinder, more accepting, and more inclusive. This year’s Unity Day theme – Building CommUNITY – recognizes that strengthening CONNECTIONS is a primary protective factor – a way that we can help protect youth and adults from harm. We can prevent bullying and other risky situations by making sure 100% of students, families, staff and community members are connected in environments that are healthy and inclusive for all.
Why unity? For years, bullying was justified with expressions such as, “Bullying is a natural part of childhood,” “Bullying makes kids tougher,” or “Bullying is a rite of passage.” The goal of Unity Day is to bring together youth, parents, caregivers, educators, businesses, and community members to emphasize the message that bullying is not acceptable and that all students deserve to be safe in school, online, and in the community.
Why the color orange? Unity Day is celebrated in October and orange is a color commonly identified with the month and the autumn season. It is also a color that is associated with safety and visibility. It is a color described as warm and inviting and its vibrancy makes an impactful statement.
Why just a day? The event provides a catalyst for everyone to come together with a visual statement that our actions matter not only on one day, but every day. One young student shared that he wished Unity Day could be every day. When asked why he replied, “So that every day everyone would be nicer to me and to each other.”
The Los Alamos Public Schools district coordinates a spectrum of prevention activities that are provided by school staff and community partners with funding support from Los Alamos County. The aim of the program is to build protective factors, life skills, and resilience and reduce risk behaviors and harm to children and youth.
For more information or to offer suggestions to the LAPS Prevention Program, Prevention Support Specialist Kristine Coblentz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 505-663-2575.