Red Ribbon Week and Anti-bully Week Help Students at PJHS Recommit to Social Integrity and Responsible Citizenship
Payson Junior High’s Mission Statement states, “At Payson Junior High we are committed to academic excellence, social integrity, and responsible citizenship.” Students, faculty, and administrators at Payson Junior High certainly practiced what their mission statement states as they took the opportunity the last couple weeks to emphasize “social integrity” and “responsible citizenship” at the school. Students recommitted themselves to being alcohol, tobacco, and drug free during the school’s annual Red Ribbon Week (10/25-29/10) and committed to put an end to bullying during their annual Be a Buddy not a Bully Week (11/8-12/10).
During Red Ribbon Week, the school’s students, faculty, and administration participated in a number of activities that promoted living a healthy lifestyle. Students and faculty wore red wristbands showing their outward commitment to being alcohol, tobacco, and drug free with prizes given to those who were wearing their wristbands. Members of Payson Junior High’s Latinos in Action Club created a red school chain that consisted of signed commitments to avoid alcohol, tobacco, and drugs which was displayed near the school’s counseling center. The school’s counseling department and administrative team scheduled two assemblies that helped students appreciate the Red Ribbon Week message. The first assembly was given by BYU athletes who shared how they are able to do what they do athletically and have an athletic advantage due to avoiding alcohol, tobacco, and drugs. The second assembly was given by Butch Scott who shared with PJHS students and faculty his family’s tragic story of the loss of their son and brother to a drug addiction. Students really seemed to appreciate the significance and warnings of the messages that were shared.
Kassandra Allsop, a ninth-grade student at PJHS said, “I liked the drug assembly because I have a family member that is struggling with drugs, and I can see how it is affecting him and how sad it is for the family. I learned how one bad choice can ruin your whole life. I know lots of students who thought the story of Butch Scott’s son was so sad. It was very powerful.”
The Be a Buddy not a Bully Week was introduced by the counseling department a few years ago to make students at PJHS aware of the dangers of bullying. Students made anti-bullying videos, the winner of which was Kris Anderson, a ninth-grade student at PJHS; they participated in a door decorating contest; students signed pledge notes to not bully; they sent buddy notes to classmates; and students participated in a Mix-It-Up Lunch where students sat with and got to know classmates that they didn’t know before the lunch, and prizes were given to the students who got to know as many new classmates as they could (Andrew Putt won the grand prize: an MP3 player). Christina Lowe, Miss Utah, delivered an anti-bullying message focusing on compassion and respect in an assembly that the students participated in.
Nicole Kearl, a ninth-grade student at PJHS, said about the week’s message, “We’ve got to rise above the influence of bullying.”
From all appearances, Payson Junior High is doing its best to do just that and really live with “social integrity” and “responsible citizenship.”