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WMES CARES and Stands up Against Bullying

Last week, students and teachers at Watertown-Mayer Elementary School took a

pledge to stand up against bullying by becoming upstanders rather than bystanders. An
upstander is a person that stands up for themselves and others by speaking up, standing
by, and being a friend. October is nationally known as bullying awareness month, and
the school took this opportunity to kick off their bullying-prevention education focus.
Every day, teachers and students read books, held discussions, and participated in
activities focusing on bullying prevention. Monday, students learned to recognize the
difference between a mean moment and bullying. They also worked within classrooms
to create a common definition of bullying. The focus of the second day was speak up.
On this day, students learned the importance of telling others about incidences of
bullying. Teachers emphasized that telling or reporting is not the same as tattling and
that it is very important to talk to an adult. On days 3 and 4, teachers taught students
how to stand up for themselves and others by using the three Rs; Recognize, Refuse,
Report. Finally, on Friday, as a culminating activity, students took a pledge to be
upstanders by creating a school-wide unity chain. This chain will remain up in the school
as a continued visual reminder of their pledge. In addition to pledging, students and
staff members showed their drive to be kind by wearing orange to school. The WMES
Student Council also purchased Band Against Bullying bracelets to be given to every
student and staff member after pledging, to be worn as a daily reminder to be kind.
While anti-bulling week has concluded at WMES, the pledge has not. Character
education will be a continued focus throughout the year with the schools CARES
program. CARES stands for cooperation, assertion, responsibility, empathy, and self-
control. The goal this year is to continue to weave in learning opportunities on how to
be a good friend, a responsible citizen, and an assertive student each month. To
continue the drive, the elementary school, along with the primary school, will celebrate
Unity Day on October 22
. The 5
Grade Student Council is also getting involved.
Theyve started meeting to develop ideas and opportunities to bring in student
leadership with this topic with ideas such as student-created iMovies, assemblies,
presentations, and creating more visual reminders throughout our community. The
students are excited to take part in the schools mission to create a kind, caring, and
safe school community for all of our students.