HOPATCONG, NJ - The Hopatcong public schools observed a Week of Respect from Oct. 7 through Oct. 11.
Some researchers have said that the social-emotional side of child development is paramount before any other learning can take place. Anti-bullying specialists for grades K-12a consisting of guidance counselors, student assistance coordinator, crisis counselor and administrators met in September to brainstorm and create comprehensive prevention programs and events for each school in preparation for October events.
Across the state, public schools observed the Week of Respect. Schools taught students about preventing harassment, intimidation and bullying. The state's anti-bullying law is considered one of the toughest in the country and New Jersey requires public schools have anti-bullying policies in place.
Gina Cinotti, K-12 director of guidance and district anti-bullying coordinator in Hopatcong, has brought all stakeholders together to ensure Hopatcong schools are meeting the requirement.
Student input is also a large part of the implementation process. Programs and messages at the elementary, middle and secondary levels are age-appropriate. Programs, events and topics include acts of kindness, Rainbow Express, C.U.R.E. (Children United to Respect Everyone), spirit days, Diversity Day, Mix It Up Day, ice-breaker lessons, and respect for self, staff and school.
Messages of tolerance will continue to be implemented throughout the school year in the Hopatcong district.
Check back with The Alternative Press of Hopatcong all week long for updates on how different schools in the district observed the Week of Respect.