September 03, 2015

BACK TO SCHOOL: Stand against bullying with the Upstander Pledge

Author: Matt Smith
Source: NYSUT Communications
Day 1 Campaign

As part of NYSUT's effort to help ensure our public schools are a safe haven for students and employees, the union is calling attention to a new tool in the war against bullying.

With another school year underway, educators might want to consider asking their students to take The Upstander Pledge - a pledge in which they commit to taking a personal stand to intervene or report bullying and other acts of cruelty whenever and wherever they are witnessed.

The Upstander Pledge is part of the Day #1 Campaign, a project of The Tyler Clementi Foundation which works to end bullying and harassment and to promote safe environments in schools, the workplace and online. The foundation was created in memory of Tyler Clementi, a gay student who ultimately committed suicide after being subjected to online bullying and harassment because of his sexual orientation.

"Turning bystanders into Upstanders will reassure youth suffering in silence that they are not alone," said Tyler's mother, Jane Clementi. "Instead of waiting for a law to pass or the perfect curriculum, we want to provide this tool to empower teachers, bosses and coaches to take action now."

The Day #1 Campaign is sponsored by NYSUT and its national affiliate, the National Education Association.