Recently, the Ross Medical Education Center campus in Morgantown, West Virginia decided to make a move to come together against bullying. With that, they united for kindness, acceptance and inclusion on October 19th. October is National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month and October 19th was named Unity Day. That’s the day in which everyone is called to come together in their schools, communities, and online to send one large orange message of support, hope, and unity.
“Wearing orange provides a powerful, visually compelling expression of solidarity,” said Paula Goldberg, Executive Director of PACER Center. “When hundreds of individuals in a school or organization wear orange, the vibrant statement becomes a conversation starter, sending the unified message to kids to know that they are not alone, and that our society supports bullying prevention in our schools, communities and online.”
The event was brought to the attention of Dorie Alger, Campus Director, by Melissa Carothers. Melissa is a Medical Assistant program student who joined the Ross family in September. “Melissa is very civic minded and felt it was an important cause,” Dorie stated. Melissa’s classmates agreed.
Adorned in orange ribbons, headbands, scrub tops, and even socks, the Morgantown campus sent a powerful message: Ross is a safe place for everyone. “No one should ever feel like they are not safe at school, work, or home,” Jessica Cyphers, ACDOE, concurred. “The medical profession should lead by example. This includes our students. Turning a blind eye to the situation doesn’t make it okay and doesn’t make it end.”
“One of every four school-aged children will be bullied this year – upwards of 13 million students,” said Julie Hertzog, director of PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center, which sponsors Unity Day and founded National Bullying Prevention Month in 2006. “It’s important these students know they are not alone and that they have the right to feel safe. By joining together and wearing orange on Unity Day, we can send the unified message that we care about student’s physical and emotional health and that bullying will no longer be accepted in this society.”