'Unity Day' at Ossining middle school highlights the topic of bullying, building friendships

"Unity Day" also encouraged all students to come together and engage in an open dialogue about bullying.

News 12 Staff

Oct 21, 2022, 12:32 AM

Updated 580 days ago


Students at Anne M. Dorner Middle School in Ossining held "Unity Day" on Thursday to raise awareness of bullying.
The day coincided with the fact that October is National Bully Prevention Month.
"Unity Day" also encouraged all students to come together and engage in an open dialogue about bullying.
"People weren't fighting or bullying or whatever, they were just together being happy," said sixth grader Christopher Cleveland. "They talked about why you shouldn't bully and why bullying can affect everybody."
Students also played games together and connected with one another.
"People assume that kids are constantly connecting with each other. You don't realize as they enter middle school, there is less and less time to just play and connect. Even though you're in sixth grade, or even though you're in seventh grade, you may not interact with two thirds of your grade," said Assistant Principal Nicole Chaluisan.
"Coming together, getting to know each other definitely demystifies that other person and helps us to say, 'you know, they're just like me and we can work together,'" said Principal Kiesha Tillman.
Cleveland learned that firsthand when he and some friends played against two other students who were not in his friend group.
Kristin Howie, a seventh grader, knows all too well what it's like to be bullied.
"When I was more little, people called me names and stuff. I felt really sad and like I was the only one that got bullied," Howie said. She understands the importance of going outside a friend group and the opportunities that come with that.
"You can just make friends, and when you walk around you're like, 'hey, I need a buddy to hang out with,' and then just go with them the rest of the day," Howie said.
Every kid left school with a few more buddies on their side and the hope is for this to continue it every day moving forward.

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