Reporting Esme Murphy
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Wednesday is National Unity Day — a day when many people are wearing orange to show their solidarity against bullying.
The day is the brainchild of the Twin Cities-based Pacer Center.
Even Ellen DeGeneres is supporting the cause by wearing orange on Wednesday’s show. But, it wasn’t just celebrities supporting the cause.
At local schools, many wore orange to show their support for anti-bullying efforts including a Richfield school, where the anti-bullying program is a major part of the curriculum.
The fact that everyone from Ellen DeGeneres to the kids at the Richfield Stem Elementary School are proudly wearing orange shows how successful the effort by the locally-based Pacer Center has been.
For kids that are bullied, recess can be a source of anxiety and fear. At Wednesday’s recess at Richfield STEM Elementary, many kids dressed in orange to show they are against bullying.
It’s the second year students here have been taught an anti-bullying curriculum.
“They are accepting each others’ differences and because of that, they are less likely to bully because they know more about the students in here,” said teacher Leisha Baruch said.
Fifth graders at the school say the anti-bullying message works.
“I think its made a big impact,” William Voigt said. “There are not many kids in the school who do bully.”
At the Pacer Center, volunteers in orange were busy preparing for next year’s gala fundraiser, which raises money for their online and educational outreach efforts including National Unity Day.
“Bullying is a part of life that we don’t need to accept, that we can change,” said Julie Hertzog, of the Pacer Center.