Sussex Tech celebrates ‘Week of Respect’

Sussex Tech celebrates ‘Week of Respect’

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Submitted Photo - Students at Sussex County Technical School signed a banner created by graphic arts students as a pledge to put an end to bullying. Submitted Photo - Students at Sussex County Technical School signed a banner created by graphic arts students as a pledge to put an end to bullying.
Submitted Photo - Guest speaker John Halligan, who lost his son to suicide as a result of bullying, addresses students during an anti-bullying assembly Oct. 5. Submitted Photo - Guest speaker John Halligan, who lost his son to suicide as a result of bullying, addresses students during an anti-bullying assembly Oct. 5.

SPARTA — Sussex County Technical School hosted an anti-bullying assembly Oct. 5 to conclude its observance of its Week of Respect. The Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act mandates that every school in New Jersey dedicate the first week in October to anti-bullying awareness, and be referred to as the "Week of Respect."

John Halligan, who lost his 13-year-old son, Ryan, to suicide as a result of bullying, was the guest speaker at the assembly. Halligan travels the nation sharing his story and spreading the anti-bullying message.

In addition to the assembly, the students engaged in other activities that promoted awareness throughout the week:  

• The English teachers incorporated a self-esteem- and respect-building activity into their lesson plans.

• Art teacher Molly Fantasia dedicated the week to bullying education, which included roles of the victim, bully and bystander. All of her students created artwork that was hung in the auditorium lobby. The artwork will remain there until the anti-bullying summit on Oct. 24 for all middle school students to view.

• A "mix-it-up" lunch day included tables in the cafeteria labeled by color. Students received a colored piece of paper as they entered the lunchroom. Students sat at the cafeteria table that matched the color they received, allowing them to sit with students they wouldn't normally sit with. This created unity and allowed students to make new friends.

• Students were encouraged to do something nice for someone else with a "Random Act of Kindness." They received prizes for doing so.  

• Graphic arts students created an anti-bullying banner. Students who signed the banner took a pledge to put an end to bullying.

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