(L-R) James Branly, Susan Beasley, Armando Jimenez and Michelle Scolaro celebrate Unity Day at Durant High School.

By Lily Belcher

On October 21, Durant High School and Durant’s chapter of National Honor Society celebrated Unity Day, created by the National Bullying Prevention Center in October of 2011. Unity Day was created to “create a world without bullying” and promote kindness, acceptance and inclusion for children and students, especially those with disabilities.

Two of the National Honor Society’s pillars are character and service, and the members of the club were able to exercise these traits that make them valuable to improving their school and community through Unity Day.

“Durant chose to participate in Unity Day because of how important it is for students from all backgrounds to feel welcomed and loved,” said Durant National Honor Society President Savannah Still. “I truly feel that Durant does this better than most schools, as I see people being kind to others and promoting inclusivity daily.”

Durant students and staff wore orange to show support and raise awareness against bullying and gave out cards with encouraging and motivational words to students at lunch. Orange is the color that represents hope and support, especially for victims of bullying.

“Orange provides a powerful, visually compelling expression of solidarity,” explained Paula Goldberg, executive director of the Parent Advocacy Coalition for Educational Rights Center.

The members of the National Honor Society hosted a booth in the courtyard that gave students the opportunity to write a productive way to stop bullying or a positive message to other students. By the end of both lunches, the display box was covered in compliments and motivation for students to see in the courtyard. To preserve the symbol of kindness and for year-round support, Durant will display the box in the school’s media center.

“Just because October is over doesn’t mean the kindness we show to each other will be over as well,” said National Honor Society member Rachel Hesse.

Throughout the month of October, Durant had posters with anti-bullying slogans and ways to promote inclusion written on them. These posters were created by the members of National Honor Society as a chapter event.

For more information on Unity Day and anti-bullying campaigns, visit pacer.org or email bullying411@pacer.org.