Park Place students march to end bullying
MONROE - Two hundred sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders jumped, walked and marched last week as part of a national movement to put an end to bullying.
The Park Place Pumas were participating in the “Million T-Shirt March,” which aimed to accomplish two goals at the same time: To help set a world record of the largest number of people wearing the same T-shirt at the same time as well as drawing light to the problem of bullying in schools.
By a wide margin, the students’ favorite part of the event was the dancing, eighth-grader Cierra Mattern said.
“I am sweating,” Mattern said. “There’s music and everyone’s happy and jumping. Everyone’s getting really involved, we’re all running and jumping and having fun.”
The Park Place PTA led by parent Maria Adams picked out the event for the kids to participate in, but it’s not the first time they’ve gotten involved in the cause.
“We all went to “We Day,” which is a youth convention about how to change the world and stand up to bullying,” Mattern said. “When we found out about (attending it) we were really excited, but it really impacted me.”
The convention was held March 27 in Seattle, and 50 kids from Park Place attended.
Celynne Pope, also an eighth-grader, said she listened to one girl who lost her eyesight after a physical attack. After hearing her speak about her struggles with bullying, the issue really hit home, Pope said.
“It made me feel inspired to hear how she stood up and she’s not sad about it,” Pope said. “It makes you feel grateful; it was inspiring.”
The Park Place students marched around the school’s campus for about an hour on May 2.
“I’m always proud of them, but when you look out and see 200 kids and 25 parents excited about being nice to each other it makes you really proud of them,” Principal JoAnn Carbonetti said.
It was the job of four Associated Student Body officers and the 30-member leadership class to get the other kids excited about the event, Carbonetti said.
“I think it will make kids start to realize what’s going on and how little things can impact people and how little things can hurt people,” student Holland Aucoin said.
After dancing and marching to Seattle artist Macklemore, doing the “Harlem Shake” in unison and spreading the word about their cause, the kids at Park Place said they felt like they accomplished a good thing.
“Today was a good day for Park Place and we should do it more often,” student Brian Pino said.
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