John H. Pitman High students took a stand against bullying by literally stomping out the issue at their “Take a Stand and Lend a Hand to Stomp Out Bullying” event on Monday. The Pitman Art Club, in partnership with a number of other clubs on campus, invited their fellow peers to stomp and pop balloons with negative words on the outside to reveal a positive message on the inside.
During the event, students were invited into a stomping arena, where they were encouraged to stomp out balloons with negative words including “fatty,” “disgusting,” and “pathetic” written on the outside. All that was left of the balloons were notes that revealed messages such as “joy.” “kindness,” and “friendship” written on it.
“These were things that the students in Art Club felt that everybody should be able to experience,” said art teacher and Art Club advisor Terri Gianotti. “Students really wanted to celebrate diversity and have everybody celebrate their uniqueness like they do in art.”
Students were also invited to sign a banner with a colorful handprint and their name to signify their united opposition against bullying. The banners, which will be displayed during the month of October, will serve as a reminder for students of what is important.
“This event brings a focus on anti-bullying and bullying problems,” said Principal Rod Hollars. “If this event can get kids to just stop and reflect on what they are doing, then that is a benefit.”