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Unity Day at Palm Avenue School

Palm Avenue Middle School kicked off its part of Red Ribbon Week with a special day last week.

On Oct. 23, the school held its first Unity Day, and everyone was asked to wear orange shirts to school. The day was set aside to begin the campaign against drugs and bullying.

During both lunches, the school held assemblies where Principal Oscar Luna shared that Red Ribbon week isn't just about saying no to drugs, it's also about paying kindness forward.

In recognition of Unity Day, owner Russ Atkins of Pizza Factory donated a "buddy bench" to the school so that if a student is spotted eating lunch alone, that student will be joined by a "buddy" for lunch.

"Pizza Factory is always involved in the local community," Atkins said. "We have donated over 75 "buddy benches" to schools.

"Kindness isn't just for today, it's for every day," Luna emphasized.

Luna presented several suggestions to the students that could make their school days easier and more fun. He encouraged not being a bullying bystander – to try to step in, talk to the students involved and be a friend. If that doesn't work, he then suggested to get an adult teacher or staff member to come talk to the students involved in the incident.

Luna stated that when an adult shows up, the bullying stops and the power is taken away from the bully.

He also mentioned that oftentimes bullies are students who are afraid and don't know how to express their fear.


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