Unity Week attempts to bring the student body together



Junior Paige Weil posts an iCare sticky note to the trophy case in the commons during lunch. The iCare wall was a feature of Unity Week that allowed students to write something or someone they cared about on a sticky note. This is the second year Bellevue West has done Unity Week in hope of bringing the student body closer together.
Photo by Courtney Swift.

Bringing the students of Bellevue West together is a top priority of Principal Kevin Rohlfs. Unity Week was an idea born from the Leadership Retreat. The idea is to gather and educate students of all grades on subjects ranging from bullying to depression. Each year the topic is different. This year the focus is personal and emotional well-being.

“Our overall goal is [to] try and bring the student body together and to be closer and more understanding,” Rohlfs said.

Students had a chance to get involved during SSR. One task was for them to write a short reflection on a time when they were the victim of a bully or when they bullied someone else. They were then given the chance to share amongst fellow classmates. Along with the student-led conversation, teachers provided strategies for assisting students that were being bullied.

“I think [Unity Week] was effective especially during daily announcements and [its] presence at lunch to bring awareness to kids,” History teacher Meredith Williams said.

In addition to informational assemblies held in GPS, students had the opportunity to participate in activities during the lunch hours. Each day of Unity Week featured a color of the day and specific topic.

A main attraction of Unity Week was the iCare and iShare wall located in the commons during lunch. The iCare wall was designed to encourage students to share someone or something that they care about. While the iShare wall was a place to display what they do to give back to the community. Once students hung their iCare and iShare notes on the wall they received a T-Bird bracelet.

With the announcements being moved to GPS this year, many students felt they were in the dark about Unity Week. Most that have early out said that was the main downfall.

“I didn’t participate this year because I don’t have a GPS so I didn’t know much about it,” senior Chloe Hiatt said.

Even Rohlfs acknowledges the fact that Unity Week wasn’t advertised as well as last year.

Senior Bobby Russell was among those who decided to participate this year. His friends were the main reason he got involved. Each day he sported the color of the day. Although he connected with fellow T-Birds this week he didn’t feel Unity Week served its purpose.

“I don’t think it is effective because not enough people do it,” Russell said.

Thursday a presentation was held in GPS which involved guest speaker Diana Schmidt from Boys Town presenting information on suicide. Friday the color of the the day will be purple and yellow with a mini pep rally in the commons during GPS to celebrate being part of the T-Bird family.
Linzy Heim
Website Photo Editor