JAY — The results are in. The buddies are winning.

Third-graders participating on the Jay Elementary School Civil Rights Team are making sure of it.

They gathered for lunch Wednesday in teacher James Remington’s art classroom prior to breaking into groups to do projects during recess.

Both Remington and guidance counselor Jennifer Stone, team advisers, had an increase in team members this year.

There were 10 on the team last year and 23 this year.

Last year’s team made up of fourth-graders recently had their “Buddy or Bully” box project featured in the October edition of The Torch, a Maine Civil Rights Team Project newsletter.

The staff Bully Prevention Team brainstormed ideas and came up with the
idea as a way to safely report someone who has bullied them or someone
who has been nice to them, Remington said.

The way it is set up is that no one knows who put in which comment.

“We didn’t want to make it a bad thing. We wanted to make it a positive thing,” Stone said.

This year’s team is carrying on the mission. Members are making posters, putting up billboard messages, making daily announcements, monitoring recesses and continuing the “Buddy or Bully” box project. They even give up their own recess to ensure all is well.

As kids munched on lunch, they talked.

“I think this team is a good way to stop people from bullying,” student Hallie Pike said.

Students Brooke Buote and Juliann Doiron agreed.

“I think it’s a good place to make the school better,” Buote said.

“I think it’s a good place to help people and little graders if something is wrong,” Doiron said.

She had made a sign spelled out on individual sheets of paper and brought it to school that reads: No bullying at Jay Elementary School.”

Everybody is friendly and nice and everybody is trying to help the school, student Matthew Gallant said.

“We are trying to help the school not bully and most of the people in the school to be a good citizen,” third-grader Lilly Towers said.

The boys also had positive things to say, including that they make announcements over the school’s speaker system to remind peers to be a “buddy not a bully.”

“I really want to be on the Civil Rights Team because I want to be a better friend,” member Parker Beaulieu said.

Jonny Van Blarcom is on the team to “make the school a better place,” he said.

Alana McDaniel makes it a point to play with friends she doesn’t play with as much as others.

“I do the bulletin board,” Amber Smalley said. She hadn’t done one yet but was tossing around ideas to get the message “Be a buddy, not a bully” across, she said.

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Most of the members of the Jay Elementary School Civil Rights Team are shown with school Principal Chris Hollingsworth, left in back, and team advisers James Remington and Jennifer Stone. The students are holding up a team member’s sign that reads: “No bullying at Jay Elementary School.”

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