HomeMullica Hill NewsEighth-graders promote positivity, acceptance with anti-bullying posters

Eighth-graders promote positivity, acceptance with anti-bullying posters

Students were tasked with formulating a unified message that would resonate with other and spread positivity

Mantua residents and eighth-graders Adrianna DiBennedetto and Natalie Monzo’s poster at Clearview Regional Middle School (Krystal Nurse/ The Sun).


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The Sun

Following an October presentation on anti-bullying for National Anti-Bullying Month, the guidance counselors at Clearview Regional Middle School had eighth-graders speak to and for their classmates through the creation of anti-bullying posters.

Sherin Blose and Debbie Wilson were looking for ways for students to know the importance of ending bullying, but wanted to make sure the point they were getting across would be received by students well, and wouldn’t an adult-to-student interaction.

Both added the conversation about bullying started in classrooms during October and they found students weren’t fond of sharing stories or talking about themselves. Soon after, they had eighth-graders draw messages on a standard-sized pieces of paper.

Three groups were selected as the top three posters. They’re on display in the middle school’s hallways for an undisclosed amount of time.

“Ours was to just say don’t judge someone for how they look and as long as they’re human, to be fine with them,” said Natalie Monzo on behalf of her and her partner and fellow Mantua resident, Adrianna DiBennedetto’s, poster. Their poster placed first in the selection.

“Our quote was if you don’t understand, you shouldn’t judge somebody because you don’t know where they’re coming from or what their situation is,” said Colby DiVerniero of Mullica Hill on behalf of her partners Riley Moore of Mantua and Natalie Bayes of Mullica Hill. “If you understand, you’ll know not to judge.”

“My poster said ‘we all fit in here,’” said Isabella Cipparone of Mullica Hill. “I went online and I looked around saw something that I thought was good, but then I put the puzzle pieces on it and that’s how I made it.”

Assistant Principal Kate Bourquin added she felt the messages were important for all students to see.

“Bullying and any type of action like that is unacceptable, and I think these are positive messages that students can see throughout the day, that if there is bullying going on, that they’re not alone,” said Bourquin. “There are people here to support them and there is help.”

All six students said a combination of personal experiences and seeing peers get bullied helped them find what messages to use. Posters were chosen by guidance counselors, educational specialists and other faculty members without knowing the names of students who created the designs.

“I’ve been labeled a lot before and I know a lot of people who are close to me, best friends, who’ve been labeled also a lot, and it really affects them in a negative way,” said Bayes. “So, I just thought that someone should mention it or they should put it out there.”

“It’s really empowering because everyone’s just coming here to learn and no one wants to be judged for who they are,” said Cipparone.

While there are three posters that were selected as the top, Bourquin added other submissions will be made into posters by students and rotated throughout the school year and some are in consideration to be the class T-shirt design.

“I’m extremely proud of them,” said Bourquin. “They’re great students and are clear role models in the school. It starts somewhere and positivity is contagious.”


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