Blue Shirts Unite Students Against Bullying
On Oct. 4, hundreds of Albuquerque students got the blues in a good way. That day marked the start of a new annual event for many schools. Students and teachers joined in for Blue Shirt Day, a way to raise awareness of bullying and make a commitment to stopping it.
Blue Shirt Day is part of the national Stomp Out Bullying effort. A local Girl Scout troop led by troop leader Mandy Griego helped launch the event in Albuquerque. Haley Marshall, a sophomore at the Early College Academy, built a Blue Shirt Day Facebook page as a rallying point. "I invited everyone on my friends list," says Marshall. The online group sent out thousands of invitations to friends, parents and fellow Girl Scouts.
Caroline Cabiedes is a junior at Albuquerque High School. She sees a need for Blue Shirt Day to get youth to think more about bullying and its consequences. "There's a lot of bullying sometimes. They think they're just joking around about it," she says. Albuquerque High senior Sammi Williams is also part of the project. She hopes to bring attention to the issue of cyberbullying. "Bullying is more of an online problem. People, especially this new age of high schoolers, are more likely to say what they have to say online," says Williams.
The scouts will present their work on the Blue Shirt Day project at the Girl Scouts national convention this fall. Look for Blue Shirt Day 2012 to be an even bigger event as the student organizers take what they learned this year and reach out to more people next fall. Blue shirts could soon become an annual early October tradition as a way to show unity in the effort to end bullying.