It’s a color associated with safety and visibility, and it’s been described as warm and inviting.
Its vibrancy makes an impactful statement.
It’s the color orange, and hundreds of Capistrano Unified School District administrators, staff members and students dressed in the autumn season hue on Wednesday, October 23, for an important cause: Unity Day.
Within National Bullying Prevention Month, CUSD joined schools across the country to celebrate Unity Day, a national event in support of bullying prevention.
Organized by PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center, Unity Day was established as an opportunity for students, staff and community members to spread messages of kindness, acceptance and inclusion. Students and staff wore orange to school as a symbol of support and unity.
“Orange provides a powerful, visually compelling expression of solidarity,” said Paula Goldberg, executive director of PACER Center, in a statement. “Whether it’s hundreds of individuals at a school wearing orange, store owners offering orange products, or a community changing a landmark to orange, the vibrant statement becomes a conversation starter, sending the supportive, universal message that bullying is never acceptable behavior.”
For years, bullying was socially justified with expressions such as, “Bullying is a natural part of childhood,” “Some kids just deserve to be bullied,” or “Bullying is a rite of passage.” The goal of the day is to bring youth, parents, educators, businesses and community members across the nation to emphasize the message that bullying is not acceptable and that all students deserve to be safe in school, online and in the community.
More than one out of every five students report being bullied, according to the National Center for Educational Statistics, and 33% of students who reported being bullied at school indicated that they were bullied at least once or twice a month during the school year.
Standing up for someone or supporting the cause that addresses bullying makes a difference and changes lives, PACER said. CUSD wore orange in celebration of Unity Day, encouraging their school families to do the same and share messages of kindness across social media.
In 2011, the first year of Unity Day, comedian and television host Ellen DeGeneres wore an orange sweater and talked about the significance of Unity Day on her show and promoted the event online.
Everyone’s involvement is important, organizers said, as the event goes beyond the school wall and into the community.
Those who were bullied felt that no one cared and the simple act of wearing orange shows them that they are not alone and hopefully empowers them to speak out and reach out.