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Students Stand Together at Livingston High


Photo: (Liat Kastner)

On March 30th, students at Livingston High School in Livingston, NJ held a program on bullying, called “We Don’t Stand By, We Stand Together.” Austin Taylor, a 17-year-old junior at the school and member of the local band Taylored, wrote about his experience for A THIN LINE.

“We Don’t Stand By, We Stand Together” was all about getting everyone in our school to view each other with compassion and respect. We want to make bullying disappear in our community.

Earlier this year, our drummer Gregg Greenberg and I approached both the School Safety Team, which consists of students and teachers, as well as the Do Something Club at Livingston High School in Livingston, NJ to create this program.  We wanted to target bullying and its effect on people from a different perspective, not the normal lecture that most students end up not paying attention to.

Through months of planning with the Safety Team, Do Something, and the school’s student assistance counselor Mrs. Degenero we came up with a way to truly impact the students and start to change the culture of the school.

The assembly, told from the students’ point of view, included the reading of anonymous true stories submitted by fellow LHS students as well as the true story of one of Livingston’s own teachers who was bullied as a child and who bravely shared with the students.

Gregg also shared his personal story about bullying in order to make an impact. The program included a live performance from our band of the songs “Radio Take Over” about self-empowerment, and “Never Let You Go” about the subject of suicide.  This hits a personal note with the members of the band who have had close friends who committed suicide.

In the days following the assemblies, many kids reached out to Mrs. Degenero as well as the entire Safety Team to talk about their own personal situations seeking help and support.

Our goal of this assembly was to not only make students aware of what goes on inside the walls of their own school but to also enable students to think differently so they can change the culture of our school.