Bullying is not welcome behavior in the Dallastown Area School District, a stance amplified by the No Place for Hate banners that now hang in every school building.
The district worked through the entire 2012-13 school year to earn the distinction, which is an initiative of the Anti-Defamation League.
Each school completed at least three anti-bias or anti-bullying activities throughout the year. Students, teachers and parents were also asked to sign the Resolution of Respect, a pledge to take a stand against biased or bullying behaviors.
As a symbol of completing the year-long process, each school received a banner to display that it is a "No Place for Hate" zone.
The goal of achieving the designation was to unify existing anti-bullying initiatives in the district, said Assistant Superintendent Jason Doll.
Doll said the district received a positive response from the community for the programs, and said the unifying aspect strengthened the school's anti-bullying message.
Doll said one district-wide activity was "Mix it Up" day, when students were encouraged to sit with peers outside of their friend groups in the cafeteria. Another was a week-long goal to ban name-calling.
Doll said those programs were surrounded by dialogue about each one, and also included guest speakers and other ways for students to connect with the program.
Doll said the program has increased the awareness that bystanders need to take action when they see bullying happen. He said it has also helped students learn how to confidentially report bullying incidents, and to learn about support groups available to victims.
-Reach Nikelle Snader at firstname.lastname@example.org.