After Sarah Decker and Monica Mahal participated in the citywide White-Out Against Bullying event at Watchung Hills Regional High School in New Jersey, they became dedicated to spreading awareness about the issue of bullying. Now in college, Sarah and Monica continue to promote the importance of being an upstander. By Sarah Decker and Monica Mahal Upstander. This word needs to become part of of our everyday lives. An upstander is a person who chooses to take positive action in the face of injustice in society or in situations where individuals need assistance. Bullying, hate crimes, and intolerance can be actively prevented in many cases simply by standing up for the victim and using your voice or your actions to stand against injustice.
Students from Watchung Hills Regional High School in New Jersey hosted a citywide event called White-Out to Erase Bullying. Students, teachers, residents, and even civic leaders participated by wearing white to make a simple yet powerful message against bullying. Watch the Not In Our School short film about this inspiring activity. After the White-Out, students reflected on the event and its impact. Here are four perspectives from Watchung students. “We all have a desire to initiate change in our communities, and at Watchung Hills, it is always stressed that we not only be good students, but we push ourselves to be upstanders in our school and our towns. We heard about the White-Out idea from our teachers and we immediately jumped at the opportunity to be a part of something bigger than ourselves.”—Catherine, junior
“White-Out was that handy product used to wipe out mistakes, eliminate errors, and allow users of typewriters to begin anew. White-Out against Bullying is a movement, effort, and initiative to wipe out practices that demean, embarrass, belittle, or hurt others.” —Eleanor Matthews, The Echoes-Sentinel