Students and staff "hug" the school

SHENANDOAH JUNCTION, W.Va. -- Students and staff at Driswood Elementary School (DES) celebrated Unity Day on Wednesday, October 19. Unity Day is an anti-bullying initiative created by PACER's National Bullying Prevention Center (NBPC) and has become the signature event for National Bullying Prevention Month. The day gives schools across the country an opportunity to promote kindness, acceptance, and inclusion to prevent bullying.

DES Principal Kelly Osborne said three staff members advised the student council, giving them a selection of activities the school could use to commemorate the day and share the anti-bullying message.

"Our students are really stepping up and helping us to grow our school and what we are doing to best meet our student's needs," she said.

Students and staff all wore orange and formed a visual symbol of unity with a circle around the school. The students gave their school a symbolic hug while cheering and celebrating.

Library Media Specialist at DES Carly Mriscin also worked with students to plan the events for Unity Day. She said the students took ownership of the event, even voting on what activities to organize.

"They want to take charge! They have lots of ideas. It's been great to get them involved and have some fun activities happening."

For more information about Unity Day and bullying prevention, visit the PACER's innovative websites at