As bullying remains a substantial issue among teenagers, Norwalk High School has stepped up to lessen it.
Peace Works, an organization at NHS started by senior Jessica Jaramillo, promotes an environment of respect and emphasizes a bully-free lifestyle.
On Feb. 27, Peace Works sponsored Pink Shirt Day to raise awareness against bullying.
"The purpose of Pink Shirt Day was to show the union between students who truly believe that bullying is a problem. I wanted to raise awareness for the school," said Jaramillo, president of Peace Works.
The idea for Pink Shirt Day originated from two high school students in Nova Scotia, David Shepherd and Travis Price. They made the selfless decision to stand up for a student at their school, a ninth-grader who was harassed for wearing a pink T-shirt. The two boys encouraged students to wear pink to school the next day in protest of the bullying and they distributed pink tank tops.
Norwalk High students showed their support of this international movement by dressing in pink Feb. 27.
"In my perspective, Pink Shirt Day was successful because the students in my club felt as if they were making a change," Jaramillo said.
"Many students supported the cause and we collected more than 200 signatures from those who wore pink. They were excited and wanted to join the club and model for future photography projects," said senior Ana Galarza, vice president of Peace Works.
Peace Works will continue to stress anti-bullying through new projects.
"During high school, physical abuse is not that prominent, we want to decrease bullying in social media and verbal abuse," Galarza said.
"One out of 10 students drop out of high school because of bullying; we want to make sure students make it to graduation."
Jaramillo added, "We are very excited for the biggest project that is a public service announcement, but details will not be given until we actually put it on our Facebook page."
To learn more about the organization or to view pictures from their projects, visit facebook.com/PeaceWorksOrg.
Nicole Dunsmore is the Editor in Chief of the Norwalk High School Paw Print newspaper.