SHIAWASSEE AREA — Bullying affects more than one in every five students around the country. In 2019 OK2SAY, Michigan’s most effective evidence-based reporting system, revealed 1,001 tips received regarding bullying and 307 tips about cyberbullying. On Oct. 21, Shiawassee Prevention Network (SPN), a grass-roots local prevention coalition, is showing that we are together against bullying by celebrating Unity Day.

Unity Day, started by PACER’S National Bullying Prevention Center in October 2011, is the signature event of National Bullying Prevention Month and is now celebrated around the world. This annual event promotes joining together to create healthier communities through kindness, acceptance, and inclusion.

This year SPN is reaching out to businesses, schools, and community members across Shiawassee County to participate by asking staff and students to wear orange on Unity Day.

“This is a day when we can come together in one giant, orange message of hope and support. The call to action is simple: wear and share the color orange”, said Penny Corbin, SPN vice-chair. “This vibrant statement becomes a conversation starter, showing support for students who have been bullied and for bullying prevention.”

“Shiawassee Prevention Network is hoping you will join us by creating your own Unity Day event so that we can show the youth of in your local community, and the larger community around them, cares about bullying prevention.” said Stephanie Molnar, SPN executive team member.

If you wear orange, post your picture on Facebook and be sure to tag Shiawassee Prevention Network.

There can be a tremendous impact on young lives when we demonstrate our unity on this important topic. SPN is hoping to all unite and talk about the positive things we can do to make healthier communities.

If you are being bullied or know someone who needs help, OK2SAY is the student safety program which allows students to confidentially report tips on potential harm or criminal activities directed at school students, school employees, and schools. Contact OK2SAY anonymous tip line at (855) 565-2729, text 652729 (OK2SAY) or email OK2Say@mi.gov.

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