VENICE — Student Leadership Academy took a stand against bullying.

The Venice-based public charter middle school turned a one-day effort against bullying into a weeklong event.

Unity Day, created by the National Bullying Prevention Center, is held toward the end of October, which is National Bullying Prevention Month, according to a news release from SLA and its instructor, Casey Clinch.

As a part of Unity Day, there is a message of “hope and support... to visibly show that our society believes no child should ever experience bullying,” according to the center’s website, www.pacer.org.

“SLA began the week by having classroom discussions based on societal and environmental factors that affect bullying,” Clinch said in the news release. “Students worked together to determine rules and regulations the school has in place that best protect them against bullying and generated ideas regarding how the school can better protect and advocate for the students.”

During Unity Day, on Wednesday, staff and students wore orange as “a united front against bullying.”

“Each student wrote positive messages on orange flags, which were planted in front of the school to inspire the community to be kind to one another,” the news release noted.


It said eighth-grader took part in “a powerful activity called ‘Cross the Line,’ where students publicly acknowledged ways they are both similar and unique.”

“This activity allowed students the opportunity to see they are not alone in this world,” the news release said. “They saw first-hand that everyone has difficulties they must face, even if it does not always seem that way.”

Student Leadership Academy staff and educators “recognize the role that mental health plays in the future safety of its students,” the news release states.

“In accordance with the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act of 2018, SLA has taken steps to expand their school-based mental health services by implementing a Leadership and Life Skills program in all 1st period classes and encouraging open conversations amongst students and staff about mental well-being,” it said.

Student Leadership Academy serves students who live of Venice, South Sarasota, North Port and Englewood.

For more information about Student Leadership Academy, visit www.slavenice.org.

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