White-Out to Erase Bullying | Not in Our Town

White-Out to Erase Bullying

Grade Level: 
Middle School (6-8)
Elementary (K-5)
High School (9-12)


Students at Watchung Hills Regional High School in New Jersey were fascinated when they heard about an Orange Out against bullying in Marshalltown, Iowa. When they got together, they decided to create their own “White-Out” to erase bullying. The campaign took on the flavor of their community. Even the weather cooperated, blanketing the town with snow as high school leaders tied white ribbons on snow-laden trees and held led activities pledging not to be silent in the face of bullying at their high school, middle school and elementary school. Even the mayor and city council joined the effort.
Lesson Plan
Previewing Questions:
1. What are the biggest issues with bullying in your community? Each student can brainstorm a list first individually and then share it.
2. Have you signed a pledge against bullying? What do you think about the value of having students sign pledges? How do students stay accountable to their pledges?
3. Why is it important to get the whole community involved in bullying prevention? Who should be involved? Why?
4. Do you have a color associated with bullying? Some schools say “teal because bullying is real.” A national bullying awareness group says orange is the anti-bullying color. This school is having a “white out to erase bullying” saying “wear white to unite against bullying.” Does having a color to identify with bullying prevention make a difference?
Post-viewing Questions
1. One student said, “I want to help other students because I was not aware how to stop it for myself.” How did she try to make it different for the students she worked with during the “White-Out”?
2. The same student said, “We need awareness about the issue before we fight the issue.” Do you agree? What did they do to raise awareness?
3. What activities did the students do at the high school, middle school and elementary school? How should bullying be addressed at each grade level?
4. In the film, they had a slogan, “Speak up, Stand up, Stop hate.” After seeing the film, how would you come up with a slogan for your community for your community?
5. How can having students share their stories make a difference for others? What story do you have to share to inspire others? Write it down and share with the class.
6. Each student can write or draw a comic strip about a perfect “awareness” day on bullying. What activities from the film could be included? What other ideas do you have that would work in your community?
Extension Activity:
a. Plan your community-wide white-out, orange-out or whatever color you choose. Use this guide to help you organize it.
b. Write letters to elected officials to ask them to speak out about bullying. Explain why this is important and an issue that affects the whole community.


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