MONTVILLE, NJ - The New York Jets and STOMP Out Bullying, through the Jets Tackle Bullying program presented by Municipal Credit Union, honored Robert R. Lazar Middle School last month. Jets Offensive Lineman Jonotthan Harrison along with STOMP Out Bullying CEO Ross Ellis recognized the entire Lazar Middle School student body and faculty for their commitment to preventing bullying. The New York Jets and STOMP Out Bullying presented two fun, informative and educational assemblies at Lazar; one for the sixth and seventh grade, and one for the eighth grade. In addition to being interactive, the assemblies also incorporated some friendly competition for signed Jets footballs and other swag.
During each assembly, sixteen Lazar students in grades six through eight were also recognized for being named Jets Upstander of the Week throughout the Jets 2018-2019 season. During the season those students each received tickets to a Jets game, as well as a Jets Upstander of the Week t-shirt and their photos on the Lazar and Montville Township Public Schools Twitter feeds (@LazarPrincipal and @MontvilleTwpSch). At the April 26 assemblies the sixteen Jets Upstander of the Week students also received a Jets football signed for them by #78, Jets Offensive Lineman Jonotthan Harrison. The sixteen students who were honored at the assemblies were:
Week 1: Emmett Glennon (8th grade)
Week 2: Sofia Matari (7th)
Week 3: Zack Friedman (8th)
Week 4: Lindsay Probst (7th)
Week 5: Jhavena Johnson (8th)
Week 6: Colin Volpe (8th)
Week 7: Sara LoPresti (8th)
Week 8: Juan Penaloza (8th)
Week 9: Richie Mattina (6th)
Week 10: Christina Issa (8th)
Week 11: Alex Euripides (7th)
Week 12: Claire Grau (8th)
Week 13: Kyra Fall (7th)
Week 14: Colin Gomez (6th)
Week 15: Ellie Manheim (7th)
Week 16: Jenna Iervolino (8th)
Before Harrison talked with students about his own experiences with having been bullied from fifth through twelfth grade he shared some statistics about bulling.
“A really shocking stat that gets me every time:” Harrison said, “There are 5.4 million kids that stay home from school every day just to avoid being bullied. 5.4 million kids -- think about that…5.4 million kids missing school (every day) because they are afraid of somebody being mean to them.”
He also noted that nationally every seven minutes someone somewhere in the United States is getting bullied and that one out of every five teens across the nation is being bullied physically, verbally or through cyber bullying.
“I want to congratulate you guys on being a school that works hard and tackles bullying every day,” Harrison told the Lazar student body. “Thank you for working hard to help StompOut Bullying.”
STOMP Out Bullying CEO Ross Ellis also spoke with the students.
“No one deserves to be bullied,” Ellis said. “We live in a diverse world, and inclusion is key.”
The Stomp Out Bullying founder explained that no one expects everyone to be best friends, “But, just be nice,” she said.
Ellis also provided examples of ways all individuals can empower themselves against bullying and ways to prevent bullying.
Some of her advice included:
- Don’t ignore being bullied. Instead, say, “Whatever,” and walk away.
- Never answer a negative post on line.
- Use the buddy system since bullies do not generally take on groups.
- Don’t post anything that you would not want your parents or teachers to see.
- Think before you post.
- Remember: what goes on line stays on line and it will affect your future in many ways.
- Be respectful of other cultures.
Ellis encouraged students to use www.stompoutbullying.org as a resource.
In August 2018, the Jets along with STOMP Out Bullying and Municipal Credit Union hosted the team’s 3rd Annual Jets Tackle Bullying Symposium at MetLife Stadium. More than 200 educators and parents from the tri-state area attended the event which featured a keynote speech on building school culture. Attendees then had the opportunity to implement the Jets Upstander of the Week program at each of their schools during the season which highlights an Upstander on Twitter each week. Schools received 50 tickets to award to students along with Jets Upstander of the Week t-shirts.
For 2018-2019 Robert R. Lazar Middle School and Woodmont Elementary School were two Montville Township Public Schools that participated in the program. This marks the second year district schools participated in the Jets Tackle Bullying program. In 2017-2018 Valley View Elementary and Woodmont participated.
Through the Jets organization’s collaboration with STOMP Out Bullying, along with support from Municipal Credit Union, the Jets have provided educator prevention toolkits to over 1,500 schools in the tri-state area at no cost, conducted their annual Jets Tackle Bullying Symposium, created awareness through a robust PSA campaign and annually hosted an anti-bullying awareness day at MetLife Stadium on game day. In addition, the Jets and MCU have funded a digital training tool reaching every school throughout the New York City Department of Education. This important campaign hopes to raise awareness about the devastating impact of bullying and empower educators and teens alike with educational resources to help put an end to bullying. The Jets branded STOMP Out Bullying Educators’ Prevention Toolkits enables educators to create meaningful dialogue, educate students through proven Social Emotional Learning methods, adopt character building in schools and involve both students and faculty in working together to change school climate. Schools can register for a toolkit by visiting: nyjets.com/antibullying.
Robert R. Lazar Middle School was named one of the three best Jets Tackle Bullying schools in New Jersey. For this reason, Lazar received the New York Jets and STOMP Out Bullying assemblies. In addition to the Jets Tackle Bullying assemblies sponsored by Municipal Credit Union, Lazar also received an additional 100 New York Jets tickets to give to Jets Upstander of the Week students next season.
About Jets Foundation
The New York Jets take great pride in a long-standing, year-round commitment to our community. Programs funded by the New York Jets Foundation look to positively influence the lives of young men and women in the tri-state area by promoting fitness, supporting youth football and preventing bullying, particularly in disadvantaged communities. From launching football teams at urban high schools to urging students to be active for at least 60 minutes every day to fostering positive school environments, the New York Jets invest in programs that make a difference in the lives of others. In addition to our focus on youth development, the Jets support the efforts of the Lupus Research Alliance and numerous established charitable organizations and causes sponsored by the NFL.
About STOMP Out Bullying™
Created in 2005, STOMP Out Bullying™ is the leading national nonprofit dedicated to changing the culture for all students. It works to reduce and prevent bullying, cyberbullying, sexting and other digital abuse, educates against homophobia, LGBTQ discrimination, racism and hatred, and deters violence in schools, online and in communities across the country. In this diverse world, STOMP Out Bullying promotes civility, inclusion and equality. It teaches effective solutions on how to respond to all forms of bullying, as well as educating kids and teens in school and online. It provides help for those in need and at risk of suicide, and raises awareness through peer mentoring programs in schools, public service announcements by noted celebrities, and social media campaigns, and is recognized as the most influential anti-bullying organization in America.www.stompoutbullying.org
About Municipal Credit Union
Municipal Credit Union is the oldest credit union in New York State and one of the oldest and largest in the country. Established in 1916 and headquartered in New York City, today MCU has assets of more than $2.9 billion and offers a full range of financial services to its more than 540,000 members. MCU is an equal opportunity lender, and deposits are federally insured up to $250,000 by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), a U.S. government agency. For more information about Municipal Credit Union, visitwww.nymcu.org.