Salk students pledge for peace

The week of Dec. 12–16 was dedicated to bringing a message of tolerance, acceptance, respect and anti-bullying to the almost 800 students who attend the middle school.

Submitted photo. Salk Middle School students assembled this peace quilt to fight back against bullying at their school.

The week included daily activities, discussions and videos during the homeroom period. Each activity, discussion and video highlighted the importance of respecting and celebrating our differences and the need for striving for a school atmosphere free from bullying.

Each day the students heard a pledge that they were then encouraged to sign and agree to be bully-free.

The week culminated in nearly all of the students signing the pledge and then a giant “peace quilt” was created in the Salk Middle School commons.

The quilt is to be a reminder to the students in the weeks and months ahead to remain bully-free and most importantly to take a stand when they witness other students being bullied. The week was received positively by students and staff at Salk.

Here’s the pledge:
I have an obligation to make my school free from bullying
No longer will I be a bully to others
No longer will I be silent if you need help
Silence is participation
I refuse to participate in the problem
We’re all different, but we all deserve respect
If you need help I will be there
If I think you need help, I’m getting involved
I’ve Got Your Back

The Peace Week idea was created in response to the national rise in attention to the issue of bullying in the American public school system.

The week was sponsored by Salk Middle School principal, Julie Athman, and the building’s Cultural Competency Leadership Team led by Paul Olson. The staff at Salk Middle School is hoping to make Peace Week an annual or biannual event.