The J.K. Gotwals Elementary School of the Norristown School District is taking part in the nation’s largest and most ambitious anti-bullying rally ever attempted — The Million T-Shirt March Against Bullying.
The school has partnered with several Montgomery County agencies and Continental Bank to take part in the event against bullying.
Children who bully and who also are bullied by peers (often referred to as “bully-victims”) appear to be at the greatest risk for suicidal thoughts and behavior, according to studies.
The county organizations including the District Attorney’s office, Communities that Care for Youth/Family Services, Judge Garrett Page, and Sheriff Eileen Behr are taking part in the event.
Principal Jeanette Fernandez hopes to be part of more than a million people nationwide on May 17 to wear the same anti-bullying shirt. This is also an attempt to set a Guinness World Record of “the most people wearing the same shirt on the same day.”
The students and staff of J.K. Gotwals Elementary School will march to the Court House at 10 a.m. and hold a rally on the plaza to take a stand against bullying. The public is invited to take part in the rally to show support for the fight against bullying.
There are about 160,000 children that miss school every day due to bullying. About one out of every 10 students drop out or change schools because of repeated bullying. Statistics for 2010 revealed about one in seven students in grades kindergarten through 12th grade is either a person who bullies or has been a victim of bullying.
Sometimes a teen or child who has been bullied eventually becomes the bully as a way to retaliate.
New statistics show that there is a growing body of research examining the association between involvement in bullying and suicide among children and youth.
Most studies are correlational and show that children who are involved in bullying (as victims of bullying, perpetrators of bullying, or both) are more likely than those who are not to have depressive symptoms, high levels of suicidal thoughts, and attempted suicide.
For additional information, contact Principal Jeanette Fernandez at (610) 275-1077.