"If we all stood up to bigotry we can change history. I really promote that message because I feel like we need to all become more allies and stop the bullies," said Casey Haid, a junior at Greenwich High School and member of the Names Team.
The Town of Greenwich continued to take a stand against bullying in the community, with an anti-bullying forum Tuesday evening.
John Clarke, a senior at Greenwich High School and member of the Names Team said "You don't see kids beating up the smaller ones, getting their lunch money. It's not like the big football player anymore. Bullying is a lot within people's friend groups, just not including others or not letting people sit at your table. I think inclusion is a big message that you can take away because bullying can be anything that's with intent to hurt others and so it could be physical but a lot more times it's emotional."
"It is a topic that in Greenwich we want to be in front of", said Superintendent of Public Schools Dr. William McKersie. "We want to be known as a caring community. We want to be known as a public school system that sets the standard for how public schools can be as caring places as any type of school there is."
Parents, students, community leaders and educators came together for the screening of two documentaries - "The Bully Effect" and "Bystanders:Ending Bullying" before taking part in a discussion with members from Greenwich High School's Names Team, the Superintendent of School and the Anti-Defamation League.
Clarke added, "We have a lot of parents coming in and if they can see these movies and take back things and tell them to their kids; because I believe it starts with the parents. If the parent's teach their kids the values and they say I know you know what bullying is, I just learned about it. You might not know exactly what you are doing and if they tell their kids what they are doing and how it may be wrong, then I think it could possibly change things."
Marji Lipshez-Shapiro, Director of Education of the Anti-Defamation League's Connecticut office said, "Listen to your children. I've interviewed many students over the years and asked them the question "What do you wish your parents knew when you were younger about bullying" and the number one thing they say is we often don't tell you what is going on because our fear is that you are going to try to fix it before we even get it out of our mouths."
Superintendent of Schools Dr. William McKersie said working together with agencies like the YWCA and Junior League of Greenwich to prevent bullying is key.
"The phrase is out there - it takes a village. Students need to be able to talk to their peers. They have to feel free to talk to adults and it may not be an adult in the school they'll talk to. It may not be the peer in their school. If we don't have all these agencies involved, we take away neccesary supports for students strugging with how they are being treated or how they might treat others", said Dr. McKersie.