Kimpton Middle School’s student ambassador group rallied to stop bullying by bringing to life the “WAGE HOPE” campaign.
With the guidance of assistant principal, Mike Love, the anti-bullying campaign, WAGE HOPE was created to send a positive message to all students and staff at Kimpton Middle School. Be kind to one another–that’s the focus students and staff are taking.
“At the start of the year we challenged [students] to take some type of action against bullying. The kids came up with the idea of a t-shirt, wrote the message, found the graphics, etc,” Susan Palchesko, Kimpton Principal said.
Students wanted the blue t-shirts to reflect their theme, so with the help of a corporate sponsor, they were able to make the shirts affordable and available to everyone at a price point of $3.
The driving force behind these t-shirts were two eighth graders–Taylor Galioto and Casey Johnson-Bowers.
“They chose to color royal blue because this color represents the anti-bullying movement. Many of our staff and students purchased the shirts, and we have had several Stomp Out Bullying Days at Kimpton,” Palchesko said.
Superintendent Tom Bratten liked the idea so much and felt the message was too powerful to ignore, so he expanded it district-wide by offering the blue t-shirts to all staff members in the district.
“I got wind of [what Kimpton was doing] and decided this is something that we all need to rally behind…not just on a month that celebrates stopping bullying, but as a district initiative to do so ALL the time,” Bratten said.
n will designate days for staff to showcase the anti-bullying message with their shirts–today is one of them. A sea of blue can be seen in each of the school buildings throughout the district.
High school teachers gathered at the end of the day for a quick photo displaying their unity with the anti-bullying message. Lebron James even made a quick appearance with his shirt–well sort of. His cardboard figure was carried to the gym by staff from the guidance department.
Future plans for Kimpton’s WAGE HOPE include a week-long campaign where students and administrators are preparing different activities.
“We are purchasing blue wristbands that say ‘WAGE HOPE.’ Each time a student, thro
ugh his/her actions or words wages hope for another person, they are to pass that bracelet along to them, and challenge them to do the same,” Palchesko said.
Messages from the campaign could not be more powerful, especially during these past few weeks with the latest school shootings and copycats across the nation and local communities acting out.
Bratten said, “No child, nor adult should feel alone and powerless. Bullying is a choice and a human decision, and we have the ability to stop it as human beings. We need to rally around one another as a collective family to support one another and put a stop to it.”