Madison High School has gone blue. During the first week of October, MHS Peer Group Connection leaders doused the hallways in this festive color in order to promote awareness for the Week of Respect. This event, mainly acting in accord with anti-bullying legislatures, advocates for mutual acceptance, support, and friendship amongst individuals.
Peer Group Connections, colloquially referred to as PGC, is a program in which students in their eleventh and twelfth grade years at Madison High School serve as role models for underclassmen. The program specifically benefits freshmen who are in need of guidance during their transition into high school. The group often serves as a promoter of events throughout the school year that stress the importance of compassion, understanding, and safety with regard to various aspects of high school life.
Each year, PGC emphasizes the significance of respecting one another during this week. Upon entering the school, a student or faculty member is able to admire the elaborate decorative work of the PGC leaders. The white brick walls are concealed behind layers of poster paper, each containing an encouraging phrase or simply a collection of words drawn in colorful letters that embody the idea of “respect”. Transparent blue material is stretched over the ceiling lights of B-hall, infiltrating the air with a tinge of blue, an ever-present reminder of the subject of the week.
Following class discussions and brainstorming amongst the PGC leaders, the group executed various interactive proceedings during the course of the week in which the greater student community was able to take part in the Week of Respect. During the common lunch period, leaders occupied a small booth near the cafeteria where they invited passing students and teachers to sign their names on a poster, which pledged their support for the platform of Week of Respect. Additionally, these students and teachers were invited to paint the nail of their pinky finger blue, a clever idea inspired by Secret’s Mean Stinks campaign.
On Thursday, October 4, the school dressed in blue to honor the Week of Respect. The student body as well as the faculty were unified in not only their garment choice, but also their mindset as they openly declared advocacy for the proliferation of respect. The essence of the Week of Respect has truly resonated with MHS students. “I think [the Week of Respect] not only helps the students and faculty recognize that we need to be respectful,” says junior PGC leader Kaitlin McCulloch, “but it also discourages bullying and brings the school together.”
To learn more information about anti-bullying efforts and the Mean Stinks campaign, visit www.facebook.com/meanstinks