Cloonan Middle Schoolers are asking their peers to stand up and speak out. A not-so-simple message, with a double meaning.
"If you've been bullied, stand up, speak out; help the other people. And it can also mean if you're a bystander and you see things happening stand up, speak out, tell somebody. Help fix the problem," said Noah Klein, who is in 8th grade.
The slogan, also honoring Dr. Martin Luther King. The words, proudly painted on a student made mural as part of their anti-bullying initiative. Fine Art instructor David Sepulveda has been working with the students.
"The idea that we're combining two themes that dovetail so beautifully. Dr. King's message of non-violence and peace and rights. We all have a right not to be bullied and these students understand that and they're acting upon it, which is the wonderful thing," said David Sepulveda.
"A lot of people get bullied and you might not know about it," said Mary Leydon, who is in seventh grade. "So if we can get the word out there, even if you see name-teasing or something, if you stop it, you may be saving a life."
The students will celebrate Dr. King with a Day of Peace Saturday. Reading original poems, and inviting other students and parents to finish the mural.
"We're going to be helping kids, parents, paint the mural, finish the mural so that one community can help finish this poster," said Klein.
The anti-bullying program was initiated by a student at Cloonan in 2012. Cloonan Middle School is a school of distinction, named by College for Every Student. CFES is a national non-profit that not only helps students succeed and attend college, but promotes leadership and mentoring. CFES has recognized Cloonan for its student-run anti-bullying efforts.