GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. -- Nearly 400 Marshall County students are taking a stand against bullying, showing a sign of solidarity during Unity Day on Wednesday.
Guntersville Middle School students pour out of the building and chatter excitedly as school staff corral them into a version of a line on the sidewalk. Getting nearly 400 middle school students into one line is akin to herding cats, or so it appeared.
The line moved to its destination, and the students grew quieter, and slowly, one by one, grabbed their neighbor's hand. "Today is Unity Day and it's a stance for anti-bullying," school counselor Calley Kutner explains, "So we are just trying to raise awareness for students to stand up against bullying, and create tolerance and inclusion."
"The students and faculty wore orange, and then we joined hands to circle the building, as kind of symbolic for us all standing together to fight against the bullying," Kutner says.
In the days leading up to this, the students did activities and learned about the meaning Unity Day holds. The hope is that idea becomes concrete.
"I'm really big on trying to create an image for the students that they can look back on and remind them of things that they've done in the past, and this is a good reminder for their futures," Kutner says.
The display is a small movement that holds a much deeper meaning. "They have been aware of our stance, and so this just kind of brings it all home," Kutner says.