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Middle School Students Stand Against Bullying

Week of Respect returns for second year.

Chatham Middle School takes respect very seriously.

Students and faculty at the middle school begin their second annual Week of Respect Monday. The week fills the school's obligations under the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights, which Gov. Chris Christie signed into law over a year ago. Events this year are coordinated by Assistant Principal Robert Gardella.

The Week of Respect officially started Friday in homeroom, when the school aired a video as part of the morning homeroom introducing the Week of Respect.

After school, a banner with the words "I Stand Against Bullying" was hung in the cafeteria. Throughout this week, Gardella said, students will be invited to sign their initials on Post-Its and to stick the Post-It on the banner.

Students will learn about the banner in homeroom Monday, when a video called "I'm Not a Celebrity" will air.

A video camera will record the addition of new Post-Its throughout the week. The video will air in Thursday's homeroom.

On Tuesday, students will learn about a sidewalk project Gardella organized for this year's Week of Respect. The words "Respect," "Tolerance" and "Kindness" will be written in chalk around the middle school's front green.

Throughout the day Tuesday, all Physical Education classes will color in the words. Like the banner, a video will track progress throughout the day. "Parents will get a chance to see this colorful statement on the following day’s drop off," Gardella said.

On Wednesday, eighth-grade students will make an announcement encouraging all students to wear Cougar gear Thursday as a symbol of the school's united stance against bullying.

The school received funds to purchase fence caps for the Week of Respect. The caps will go up onto the Haas Field fence Thursday and will spell the words "We Stand Together."

The words come from the school's theme from Week of Respect 2011, which was "We Stand Together Against Bullying."

Friday's homeroom video will include a picture of the fence caps, video from Tuesday's sidewalk project and a thank-you message.

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