By: Crystal Mutilitis, MSW, LSW, Clinician and Caroline Capriccio, Youth Development Specialist
This March, Carteret Middle School participated in Say Something Week. The program, created by the Sandy Hook Promise, teaches students how to prevent school violence, shootings and other harmful acts. By following three essential steps — recognizing warning signs, acting immediately and saying something to a trusted adult — students are empowered to look out for each other, intervene and safely report any signals or threats.
Students Learn How to Identify Observable Threats of Harm on Social Media
Student members from the PATH's BE the CHANGE club were first introduced to the Say Something Program during their monthly meeting. They took part in an interactive presentation which taught them observable threats of harm on social media, the importance of being an upstander and how to identify and approach a trusted adult in their community.
With the knowledge they learned from the presentation, the club members then created a comic strip template. The comic illustrates a bullying scenario in which a victim posts a message of hopelessness on their social media account. A concerned classmate who is shown the post then reports it to a trusted adult in school. The comic was a collaborative activity that allowed club members to discuss personal experiences. Once completed, the comic strip was posted to the PATH's Google Classroom page for students to view as an educational resource.
'Say Something Week' Activities at Carteret Middle School
The week of March 22nd-26th was selected for Say Something Week at Carteret Middle School. The middle school participated in various virtual activities provided by the PATH to promote positivity and encourage students to say something. The PATH kicked off the week with a post-it positivity activity using ideaboardz where students and staff wrote inspirational messages to their colleagues and classmates.
Throughout the week, students were also encouraged to take part in other activities such as reaching out to friends and family to support them, practicing self-care, complimenting others, and sharing gratitude. The final activity was an online pledge that students were asked to sign to make the commitment to say something and keep the school safe from potential violence. The names of the students who signed the pledge were displayed in a tree shaped word cloud — an image similar to Sandy Hook Promises' logo.
Overall, Say Something Week at Carteret Middle School was a success. Over 200 students participated in the PATH's virtual activities. It was a great opportunity to raise awareness and educate students, even in a virtual setting.