How To Start Your Own Anti-Bullying White-Out | Not in Our Town

How To Start Your Own Anti-Bullying White-Out

Grade Level: 
Middle School (6-8)
High School (9-12)


How To Start Your Own Anti-Bullying White-Out
By Catherine, Watchung Hills Regional High School student, Watchung, NJ
At Watchung regional High School, students decided to call their Not In Our School campaign a “white out” to erase the hate from bullying. The goal of the White-Out is to gain awareness on the issue of bullying and bring together a community, in its entirety, to support the worthy cause. After garnering support from their school superintendent, they approached two student leaders to develop a logo and formed a student leadership group that partnered with an existing school Diversity Committee. Then students began a massive outreach effort to the four local towns, civic leaders, school superintendents and community groups who fed into Watchung Regional High School. Students developed campaign materials and as distributed posters, stickers and a how-to guide to the 13 local elementary and middle schools that fed into their high school. Students also offered mini-workshops to help students at those schools plan activities. The Watchung High  Pathways Career Class made posters and a huge banner for the pledge. Student leaders also contacted the press and politicians. The purpose of this guide is to share how you can do a white-out in your community.
Gather a group of hardworking students who will be able to take and give directions, who care about the cause, and are able to communicate well with peers and adults. Find a supportive Faculty Advisor. Determine a time where students, as well as a faculty supervisor, can meet on a regular basis.
Once you have your group together, familiarize students with the mission of this project to spread awareness on the issue of bullying and bring the whole community together.  Then pick a date where all schools in the community are in session and when there are no other events scheduled.
Plan your activities and divide the tasks. To do that, break students into groups based on either towns or projects.  Each group should have individual deadlines to meet, depending on the task. 
Some examples of ways to form groups:
Create separate teams with the following tasks:
o   contact local government officials (have town proclamations issued)
o   handle advertising/posters/ribbons
o   design and produce t-shirts/stickers/banners: orders, distribution (optional)
o   organize a pre-White-Out event (optional)
o   speak to state officials (support or speakers at the event)
o   organize day of events (announcements on loudspeaker, speakers, assemblies, field trips, etc.)
Once groups are established they should have time during scheduled regular meetings to communicate with each other and an action plan. Each group will have individual deadlines, however all of the work should be completed and organized with a week to spare. Groups should check in with the faculty in charge and complete the below checklist to ensure a smooth running White-Out event. The following checklist below will give you step-by-step tasks for starting your White-Out to Erase Bullying.


Anti-Bullying Whiteout Checklist
Start of the school year…September- October
  • Select a group of students
  • Select a faculty advisor
  • Establish regular meeting times 
First meeting with students
  • Introduction to purpose of the group
  • Everyone gets to know each other
Second meeting
  • Determine the day of the event
  • Decide if you want to have a pre-event (dodgeball tournament, dinner, etc…)
  • Brainstorm what activities (if any) you want the day of the event (assemblies, speakers, etc…)
Third meeting
  • Break students into groups
  • Make sure each group knows exactly what their jobs are, and understand the deadlines that they must meet.
Next month or so of meetings
Contact local officials
  • Create a list of local officials (mayor, town council, Board of Ed, etc…) that you think would like to support your event.
  • Contact officials to determine when a good time to meet with them would be (a.k.a. schedule a meeting)
  • Make a list of all the points you would like to get across to the officials
  • Determine either what towns each few people are responsible for, or who feels most comfortable doing most of the speaking.
  • Create a universal poster that will be used in schools, the community, and businesses. This should have your school name on it, a date, and the logo.
  • Brainstorm all of the different businesses and public locations where posters can be hung.
  • Look at local craft stores and start buying white ribbon anytime it is on sale.
  • Create a T-shirt design (it can have just the logo, your school, the date, whatever you want it to have).
  • Research different places that will print your shirts for the cheapest cost.
  • Determine a reasonable price you would like to sell them for (that way when asking for grants you know how much money you need spotted).
  • Decide what you want on your stickers (if you want them).
  • Decide how many stickers you think you will be buying.
  • Research who will be able to print your stickers for an inexpensive cost.
  • Design a banner for student and faculty signatures; it should have your school name and Whiteout motto printed on it.
  • Research who will be able to print the banner
Pre-White-Out event (if you want one)
  • Decide what kind of event you would like to have.
  • Brainstorm where you can hold this event.
  • Think about who will come to this event.
  • Make a list of everything you would need to hold this event (food, a gym, staff, money, toys, space etc…).
State Officials
  • Create a list of all your state officials that may want to be a part of the event.
  • They need more notice, so begin drafting and sending officials letters/emails.
  • Remember to talk to all of the other groups to make sure you tell the officials all of the correct information when you explain the event.
  • Ask them if they would like to attend/speak at the day (talk to your Day of Events group to see if they want this).
Day of Events
  • Brainstorm all possible events you want going on during the day.
  • Determine who you will need to contact in order to arrange those events.
  • If a long time is needed, begin contacting them now.
2 Months Before the Event- December- February
Contact Local Officials
  • Make sure you have a date set for attending Town Council Meetings.
  • Finalize all people attending each meeting.
  • Determine who will be saying what at each meeting.
  • Contact whoever will be printing your posters, and make your order.
  • Make sure they are delivered 3 weeks prior to the event date.
  • Continue buying ribbon on sale.
  • Order all T-shirts.
  • Determine how you want people to obtain T-shirts, with an order form or just buy them at a table.
  • If order form—create the order form and decide how those who ordered will be able to get their shirt from you (pick it up at the school, delivered, etc).
  • Make sure T-shirts can be delivered in one month.
  • Order all Stickers.
  • Order your banner.
Pre-whiteout Event
  • Secure whatever location you decided on.
  • Make sure they can manage the number of people you wish.
State Officials
  • If anyone expressed interest in being a part of the event just continue to keep them in the loop.
Day of Events
  • Make sure you talk to your principal about the plans you have.
  • Talk to the state/local government official groups to see if they have any news.
  • Create a game plan of the day, schedule out every event that you have planned and run it by the principal.
1 Month Before the Event- February-March
Contact Local Officials
  • Those in charge of local officials should visit town council meetings and have proclamations issued.
  • Make sure after your pitch, and if a proclamation is issued, you specifically thank those involved.
  • Determine a time to meet with all of the teachers (faculty meeting) and schedule a brief 5-10 minute presentation.
  • Inform all of the teachers about the White-Out, and encourage them to get their students involved/excited.
  • Talk to your Board of Ed (decide if you need a grant, support, etc from them).
  • Make sure T-shirts are in your possession.
  • Whatever T-shirt selling decision you made, begin selling them that way.
  • Make sure stickers and banners are on their way.
Pre-White-Out event
  • Begin gathering all supplies necessary for your event (balloons, decorations, nets, balls, etc).
  • Make sure all details regarding location are worked out.
State Officials
  • If anyone is attending the event, verify their involvement and whatever it is that they wish to do.
Day of Events
  • Make sure everyone is locked in place for the events of the day.
  • Continue to stay in contact with those speaking.
  • Organize what grades/ages will see who and when (if you’re dividing up into multiple events).
2 Weeks Before Event
  • Hang up posters for event anywhere and everywhere (around school, town, businesses, libraries, look at your earlier list).
  • Make sure all the teachers have one in their classroom or on their door.
  • Begin giving out T-shirts to those if they ordered off of a form.
  • Begin selling T-shirts at a table (during lunch, before school, after school, etc)
1 Week Before Event
  • Go around town and hang ribbons everywhere (parks, lamp posts, school entries, trees, etc).
  • Make announcements on the loudspeaker every day.
  • Continue to give out T-shirts.
  • Distribute Stickers (teachers can give to their classes, hand them out in the halls, etc).
  • Have a table where students can sign the banner throughout the week (lunch, before school, after school).
Pre-White-Out Event
  • Make sure all details are arranged.
  • Make announcements regarding the event daily on the loudspeaker.
  • Determine who will be able to set up early and run the different events involved.
Day of Events
  • Remind everyone of the day.
  • Work with the advertising group to make sure everyone is aware of the day.
  • Make sure everyone is in line to come to the event.
Day of Event
  • Have fun
  • Enjoy your event
  • Speak to students
  • Wear your shirts
  • Greet your speakers
  • Decorate for the event
  • Spread the enthusiasm
Post Event
  • Remember to thank all of those involved in assisting your event, and making it the success that it was! 


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