Blue Monday

Principal Ev Michell dyed her hair and put on rollerskates in honor of Blue Monday on Oct. 3.

Ahwatukee Foothills News

Blue Shirt Day, a national day to speak out against bullying, was celebrated in a unique way by Kyrene Centennial Middle School's principal Ev Michell on Monday.

Not only did she have on a blue shirt, but she dyed her hair blue and wore roller skates around campus for the majority of the day.

"I told the PTO that if they raised $7,000 in our entertainment book fundraiser, I would do this," Michell said. "This was the first year we did it and I wanted the message to have an impact on the students."

Throughout Blue Shirt Day, which is an initiative of Stomp Out Bullying, Centennial's prevention counselor also went around the classrooms to talk about what bullying is and the consequences. Michell said they would also be bringing in a speaker to do a presentation to the school in November.

"We tell them that it is all about being respectful and responsible - you don't have to be mean," she said. "We do our best to keep a handle on it and it is very important to keep them thinking about what it means to be a bully."

Stomp Out Bullying is a national anti-bullying and cyberbullying program for kids and teens. Michell and the Centennial staff have been proactive in standing up against bullying.

In 2010, Michell introduced Silent Witness, an anonymous way for students to report bullying, through the school's website.

In the past year, Michell said she has seen the reporting of incidents improve among students.

"The students are not afraid to tell us when an incident of bullying is going on," she said. "Silent Witness has been very successful for us."

To find out more about the organization, visit www.stompoutbullying.org.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or troemhild@ahwatukee.com

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