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Article posted: 12/12/2012 12:44 PM

Palatine's Promise events combat bullying

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To celebrate and encourage anti-bullying behavior, Palatine High School's Palatine's Promise hosted two recent events: Lunchapalooza, which was during student lunch hours, and Do Don't Be Rude, an activity that encourages manners and respect toward others.

Palatine's Promise focused these events around an overall goal of accepting others despite differences.

"This year really focuses on getting along with others even if you don't like them," said Eric Smith, counselor at Palatine High School and sponsor of Palatine's Promise. "A lot of our activities are to help our students get along."

Lunchapalooza included several different activities to mix up students during their lunch hours. If students brought in food to donate to the local food pantry, they were given raffle tickets for a prize.

Some students wrote "love" on their arms with henna, a traditional Indian natural ink for designs on skin. Smith said this was a multicultural activity that also promoted support for students struggling with self-harming issues, such as cutting. Additionally, announcers in the lunchroom had students introduce facts about their friends to start positive communication during lunch.

The second day of Lunchapalooza featured a student talent show with a wide-range of acts and the final day, student groups such as Orchesis and jazz band performed. Students could participate in karaoke, video games and bags, where the goal is to work in teams to toss bean bags into holes cut out of wood.

In Do Don't Be Rude, members of Palatine's Promise went to classrooms, and students were given activities that showcased the importance of being nice to others.

"There are a lot of rude things that can happen within a high school setting, but the biggest thing that we want students to come away with is that you never know what kind of day someone is having," Smith said. "We remind students that if someone is being rude, we don't need to react and to keep in mind that you might not know what someone is going through or experiencing."

For information on Palatine's Promise, visit www.phs.d211.org/PPromise/index.htm.

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