Edison Charter, North Star Academy Take a Stand Against Bullying

DULUTH, Minn.- National statistics show, 1 out of 4 teens is bullied, and 5.4 million students stay home on any given day because they are afraid of being bullied. This is why, two Duluth Elementary Schools are teaming up to teach kids at a young age ways to prevent bullying and save lives.

Duluth Edison Charter Schools and North Star Academy are spreading the message together against bullying, united for kindness, acceptance and inclusion.

Hundreds of students and facility members filled the halls of both schools Wednesday with the color orange, to celebrate ‘National Unity Day’. It’s all about sending a unified message that schools care about students’ physical and emotional health and bullying is never okay.

North Star Academy Principal Tammy Rackliffe says this type of bullying prevention at a young age goes a long way.

“As young as age 1. Getting them to understand the importance of friendship and treating others how we want to be treated. It’s important to teach the children of all ages to fight and stand up against people who are treating others unfairly”, said Rackliffe.

Students filled “Unity Trees” with hand prints and leaves with messages on them about how to make their schools better places for all. Students also ran through different bullying scenarios, with a focus on best ways to handle the problem.

“If a child feels safe, if a child feels like they are part of a community, and if a child feels like they belong, then they are going to be able to learn”, said Steve Ondrus, Academy Director, Raleigh Academy.

Ondrus also stresses the fact of the kids becoming better members of society.

“To help them be good people and that’s one of our big focuses is how do you teach them to be kind, compassionate, thoughtful people”, said Ondrus.

“It’s about who we are as people every day. Today is just a day to signify we are going to bring it to the forefront but we need to work on it every day”, said Rackliffe.

Both schools will be holding more anti-bullying events through the end of October.

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