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North Johnston students, faculty spread anti-bullying message

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KENLY — There was a sea of orange in and around the North Johnston High School cafeteria during lunch period Oct. 24 as members of the student body along with faculty and staff showed their support for both the National Unity Day Against Bullying and the school’s Impact Club by wearing clothing, costumes or other accessories that contained orange.

Orange is recognized by various national organizations as being the anti-bullying color. The Impact Club organizes the annual National Unity Day.

According to North Johnston exceptional children department chairwoman Janice Stewart, the club was organized in 2013 to promote friendship, awareness and acceptance for young adults with autism or conditions that affect social skills, along with their friends.

Stewart explained that autism is a disorder characterized by communication and social delays with the onset of the condition usually coming around age 3-4.

Guests were invited to write a positive message against bullying on what became a link in a long paper chain that was constructed by the students and displayed in the cafeteria lobby.

Stewart said the club sold T-shirts as a fundraiser for the first time this year.

“These activities are designed to show that we can come together to support a common cause,” said Stewart. “We have observed that the students involved in the Impact Club gain lasting friendships.”

“The Impact Club is a good way to make friends and to get involved at school,” said North Johnston student Jessie Council. “It is important because it reminds students that bullying is hurtful to others.”

“Unity Day was a great success,” said Stewart. “Over 200 links with positive messages were completed and many students and staff wore orange to show support for anti-bullying. The staff and students have made a difference by coming together to show that North Johnston is a school that accepts and includes all people.”

Joining Stewart as sponsors of the Impact Club this year are Alison Argott, Brian Ford and Marcie Huf.

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