Pizitz Middle takes creative anti-bullying stance

Mismatched outfits, backwards clothing, silly socks and some pirate paraphernalia isn't on the usual dress code list for students at Pizitz Middle School in Vestavia Hills. But on Wednesday, students were encouraged to come to school in mismatched clothing as part of the Mix-it-up Day of their weeklong anti-bullying campaign. The purpose behind the crazy clothes and hair styles was to "show that even though we are all different we can still get along," said Pizitz teacher Jennifer Young.

Things changed up during Wednesday's lunch time as well. Students sat at different lunch tables than usual, divided in groups based on their birthday months. Each table had a set of icebreaker questions to help kick off the conversation between students who might not have normally sat together.

"The goal of this day was to break down social barriers and cliques," Young said.

Thursday, students and faculty wore the color red to represent love for "Spread the Love Day." Students and teachers were encouraged to go "overboard" in offering encouragement, words of praise and showing love to one another. Discussions between teachers and students emphasized how hate and bullying can be harmful in a variety of ways.

Friday, the students will "Team Up Against Bullying" by wearing their favorite team's jersey or colors. An anti-bullying video will be shown in each homeroom and the message for the day will emphasize how all students at Pizitz are part of a family and team.

The theme of the week is "If you know it's wrong, be Pirate strong," and at least one student incorporated a pirate patch with his outfit (shown in the photo above), displaying his support for both the school's mascot and the anti-bullying stance. On Friday, students in each homeroom will wrap-up the week's events by reciting the anti-bullying Pirate Strong Pledge in support of the school's zero tolerance for bullying.

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