CEDAR GROVE, NJ - Memorial Middle School kicked off Respect Week on Tuesday with a Respect Rally, a collaborative and inclusive event designed to show students that they can be respectful and still have a great time.  In addition to the rally, students were treated to a visit from the Cedar Grove Panther, who posed for pictures and helped the kids get excited for the big event.

Elizabeth Cheyne, eight grade science teacher and new member of the School Climate and Safety Team, played a major role in planning the Respect Rally. "This is so important to me because of what it conveys to the students,” said Cheyne. 'We are Cedar Grove, we are the Panthers, and we will stand up against bullying." 

Max Newman and Ava Jablonski, both eight grade students, hosted the rally, making sure that the students were motivated and that the message of "respect for all" was relayed to all in attendance.  

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Gabrielle Guridys, MMS music teacher, choir director, and new member of the School Climate and Safety Team, said, "The best part about helping organize this event was seeing the kids light up with enthusiasm to be a part of it.  It's not only helping to bring students of all grades together, but also teachers who don't usually have the opportunity to work closely."

A true team effort, Guridys and Cheyne reworked the lyrics to two popular Queen songs to send messages about respect and no tolerance for bullying.  Erica Slota, the counselor at MMS and anti-bullying specialist, was excited to work collaborative with colleagues and students to bring Respect Week to a new level.  Lia Caravella's character education and social connections' students made posters for the event.

Respect Week is mandated by the State of New Jersey, and it takes place the first week of October.  Activities are planned throughout the week, which is a time for school staff to provide students with the tools needed to help eliminate bullying.

TAPinto Verona/Cedar Grove  is an online newspaper serving the Townships of Verona and Cedar Grove. TAPinto Verona/Cedar Grove is accredited by the New Jersey Press Association, and is a locally owned news organization serving the community.

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