DOVER-FOXCROFT, Maine — Students in pre-K through eighth grade at the SeDoMoCha complex have been busy with weekly activities for Bullying Prevention Month.
“We tried to do something each week,” said grade 4 teacher Barbara Buerger during the end of the second of four weeks of activities.
Buerger said that students, teachers and staff took an anti-bullying pledge and then traced their hands and wrote their names on a construction paper outline. The hundreds of varying sized and colored hands have been displayed next to the pledge on the glass conference room wall in the main school lobby.
“This week we did ‘Wear Blue All Week,’ wearing blue hats, blue on your feet, blue pants and blue shirts,” Buerger said, explaining that a specific type of attire is designated each day for the color representing bullying prevention. “Yesterday we did blue pants and today is blue shirts.”
Students were able to get creative. Some opted for blue toenail polish for blue on the feet day Oct. 10, while others wore blue socks and some taped blue paper to their shoes. Posters of the blue-footed booby were displayed around the building, with the words “stamp out bullying” next to the bird with the blue webbed feet.
“I think kids are getting the message,” Buerger said. “I see them defending other kids, saying so and so is doing this or someone’s crying.”
She said SeDoMoCha has a program — Create Buddies, Not Bullies — in which middle and elementary school students pair up, for example, eighth-grade classrooms connecting with those in kindergarten and grade 7 pupils joining those in first grade. Buerger said the elementary students may have been intimidated by the presence of their older peers, but with the program they will get to know some of the faces on the other side of the complex.
The week of Oct. 15 is poster week, and Buerger said elementary classrooms and middle school advisory groups are working to create posters using the school’s SOAR — Safe, Organized, Accountable and Respectful — components and then have the creations displayed around the building.
“It’s fun because the class comes together,” Buerger said. “It’s a real group effort; everyone is trying to do their best.”
During the final full week of Bullying Prevention Month, the Create Buddies, Not Bullies classrooms will come together for a walk during the day on Friday, Oct. 26.