Photo courtesy SISD
Schools in the Socorro Independent School District have been celebrating with rallies to bring awareness to anti-bullying, positive behavior and kindness.
Earlier this school year, Sierra Vista and H.D. Hilley brought students, staff and community together for their annual anti-bullying events with a focus on ways students can support each other and be proactive to prevent bullying.
Sierra Vista Elementary had its anti-bullying rally in the gym at Capt. Walter E. Clarke Middle School. The community, representatives from the El Paso Fire Department and the Americas High School cheer and dance teams and drum line were invited to attend.
Sierra Vista Principal Christine De La Cruz said the school emphasizes Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, or PBIS, and a zero tolerance for bullies in its social and emotional learning for students.
“We want students to be aware that we are here to support them, and we want them to know that they are safe here,” De La Cruz said. “If students feel safe, they can focus on learning.”
Sierra Vista also promotes their anti-bullying efforts with the BOOTS idea, which stands for Best Wrangler manners, Ownership, Opportunity, and Teamwork.
“Our anti-bullying rally today is all about getting up and being kind,” said Sierra Vista first-grade teacher Amanda Livingston. “Teachers will model BOOTS, school staff will, too, so that way kids can be familiar with making those positive choices and implementing them in their daily routines.”
The pep rally included the PBIS team introducing the school’s BOOT expectations, performances from Americas, Clarke and the Sierra Vista cheer teams, guest speakers from the El Paso Fire Department, and a surprise dance performance for students by Sierra Vista faculty and staff.
The H.D. Hilley Mustangs gathered for their 915 Day Kick-Off at the school.
The message of the rally was to spread kindness in the community and the world, after the shooting that happened August 3 at the El Paso Walmart. The school staff wanted students to know and to help remind others to stay united and to remain El Paso Strong.
“It is important to instill this in our students because we need to remind them at a very young age … to be respectful, to be safe, to be responsible; and, above all, to treat each other with courtesy and kindness,” said H.D. Hilley counselor Elena Fuentes.
Special guests at the 915 Day event included SISD police officers, representatives from the Border Patrol, and the Sanchez Middle School cheer team and drumline.
The event also had students and the community members reflecting on how they’ve gone out of their way to bring joy to others and to try to recall if anyone had ever done so for them.
Fuentes said thinking about positive actions is a great way to get the conversation rolling on how we can be better individuals within our community.