A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Holmes students (and adults) take the Pinky Pledge against bullying — and paint their pinkies blue

By Steve Oldfield
Children, Inc.

Students at Holmes High School have found a colorful way to stand up to bullying. They’re painting pinky fingernails blue.

“Blue is the color of bully awareness,” said Dakota, a junior at Holmes. He’s part of “Bulldogs Give Back,” a student group that organized anti-bullying events throughout October, Bullying Prevention Month.

“We’re taking a pledge to stand up to bullying,” Dakota said.

Before painting their pinkies, students wrote messages condemning bullying on signs and then posted them around the school.

One sign read, “I used to be bullied.” Another student wrote, “I don’t want kids to suffer like I did.”

Students also researched statistics about bullying and spoke about them in the daily announcements. Among the national survey results: one in four students is bullied during school but nearly 70-percent never report the incidents. About 80-percent of students say they have experienced cyber-bullying – being attacked on social media, according to the website StopBullying.gov.

The site also posted one hopeful statistic that Holmes students agree with: bullying stops nearly 60-percent of the time when a fellow student stands up to the bully.

Student organizers say they’ve seen fewer cases of bullying at Holmes since they began the month-long anti-bullying campaign.

“Over the years, since I’ve been here, I’ve definitely seen a change,” said Morgan, a junior.

“When we as a school start to realize there are different forms of bullying than we necessarily see in the media, we can start to address those and as a school overall, we’ve taken great strides to doing that.”

Many adults on campus are also taking the pinky pledge.

Principal Scott Hornblower and Covington Police Officer Mike Petri rocked their blue nails.

The pinky pledge was part of the culmination of anti-bullying events called the Holmes Day of Unity. It’s the fifth anniversary of the school’s special programs on preventing bullying.

Students painted their pinky fingernails blue and pledged to stand up to bullying during the Day of Unity at Holmes High school. Photos by Bulldogs Give Back Moderator, Ashley McClure of Covington Partners.

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