MONTVILLE, NJ – Montville Township public schools capped off the Week of Respect, observed Oct. 2-6, with a concert by the high school’s School of Rock.
The Week of Respect is required by the state Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act, begun in 2002 but extended in 2011.
Director of School Counseling Leslee Scheckman explained, “The Week of Respect is an annual week of awareness, education and action around harassment, intimidation and bullying in New Jersey public schools. The Week of Respect is held every year beginning on the first Monday in October.”
All seven Montville Township schools observed Week of Respect in many ways, including daily announcements, activities which encouraged students to incorporate the word “respect” and its many meanings into their lives, and encouraging random acts of kindness among students. Lazar Middle School introduced “Mindful Mondays” during homeroom, as a way of being self-aware and therefore respectful of self, others and the community.
At the high school, two bulletin boards displayed anti-bullying messages, and the Gay-Straight Alliance’s Ally weekly bulletin board was also displayed. Teachers and students had harassment, intimidation and bullying training.
The School of Rock concert included two appearances during the lunch period for students and in the evening of Oct. 6 for parents and students. The concert included songs from Alice in Chains, Fleetwood Mac and The Fray.
Sophomore Abby Garcia sang “How to Save a Life,” and wrote in the concert program that the song’s message is about respect for life.
“We really need to respect mental illness and depression,” she wrote.
The group performed the song “Mary Jane’s Last Dance,” with Josh Carus as lead singer, as a tribute to recently deceased songwriter and performer Tom Petty, Carus said.
The group also performed the Fleetwood Mac song “The Chain” in three-part harmony, which is described in the program as chosen for the concert because it’s about the lack of respect one has when there is betrayal in a relationship.
The School of Rock performers were Josh Carus, Matty Enriquez, Abby Garcia, Srikar Gudimella, Adriana Maiella and Pat Regan.
To see a video of clips from the songs, click: