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JCHS staff and students unite in their stand against bullying

By Lacy Hilliard
Johnson County High School is taking strides against bullying. Recently, students and staff participated in Unity Day and a sea of orange could be seen stampeding all throughout Longhorn country.
Unity Day is meant to be symbolic of students and staff uniting against bullying. Art teacher Cristy Dunn got her students involved by creating posters and even a paper mâché creature bearing the message, “Bullying Makes You A Monster.” “I’m so impressed with the students’ efforts and the amount of participation in Unity Day,” said Cristy Dunn, who is also a member of the newly formed anti-bullying “Unity Committee.”
The Unity Committee is cooperation between parents, students and teachers at Johnson County High School, who are dedicating their time to the fight against bullying. The Unity Committee is comprised of Dr. Bridget Hackett, Christina Christian, Uriah Fletcher, Cristy Dunn, Principal Lisa Arnold, Jennifer Gillenwater and student representative Hannah Woods. Christina Dugger of Concerned Citizens Against Bullying has also recently been added to the Unity Committee as a parent representative. The committee hopes to add more student members, including upper classmen representatives from grades 10-12. “We are looking for students with good leadership skills,” said Dr. Hackett. The committee credits Christina Christian with the idea to participate in Unity Day – an event they hope will become an annual tradition.
Principal Arnold showed her support for Unity Day by saying, “I’m not sure I saw a staff member that wasn’t wearing orange (on Unity Day). I think that sends a really strong message.” Principal Arnold went on to say, “I think we have a strong climate here at JCHS but there’s always work to be done.” She went on to discuss issues that she feels students should be made aware of, “For the most part, I see a lot of positivity by the students,” said Arnold, “but one thing I think students need to realize is that teasing is not okay and it’s hurtful even amongst friends. Sometimes I see students ‘joking around’ with their friends and they think it’s funny to give their friends nicknames. Even the student they’re teasing pretends it’s funny. But I think students need to know that words can be hurtful, even if they’re said in the name of ‘fun’,” she concluded.
For the rest of the story, pick up a copy of this week's Tomahawk.