Fort Wayne Community Schools across the city concluded their “Unity Week” with a special theme on Friday, called “Do’Not Bully.”
Students at Lincoln Elementary began their day sharing donuts with each other before participating in activities and events that educated students on the negative effects of bullying while teaching students to be kind to each other.
Pastor Luther Whitfield of the TenPoint Coalition addressed students during lunch. In his presentation, he called on a student and asked if they wanted a $5 bill. When the student said yes, he crumpled it, stepped on it and blew on it, before asking the student if they wanted it again.
The purpose of the exercise was to show students that no matter what happens to that piece of money… five dollars is still five dollars.
“Money’s got value, doesn’t it? You can buy stuff with it," Whitfield said, setting up the main point of his presentation. "We value you guys, and no matter what you’ve been through, you still have value.”
Students in the Unity Club helped arrange the week’s activities, including Friday’s. Kim Tanner is a case manager who helped lead the process, and says the events have, at the very least, created a greater awareness of bullying among students.
“I see kids who are coming to me, some are writing notes, some are trying to handle it," said Tanner. "Some are even pulling themselves out of situations when before they would have gone headstrong into a situation.”
This was FWCS’ fourth annual Unity Week; it began as Unity Day, before students and staff expressed interest in expanding the activities.