An innovative campaign that’s rooted in research to help stop bullying before it starts.

Taking a few minutes to clearly explain expectations for acceptable behaviors on the first day a class meets together will help ensure that youth make smart choices while interacting with their peers.  When everyone knows what is expected of them, individuals can be held accountable for their own actions. 

#Day teaches youth how to speak and act with compassion, empathy, kindness, and respect.  The #Day1 campaign has been used effectively in high schools all over the country as a tool to help turn passive bystanders into active Upstanders, which has the potential to positively impact your entire school community.

Any day can be #Day1 to create a safe classroom environment free of bullying behavior.  You just need to get started…..

Review the below #Day1 Declaration.  Additional options are available.  Choose the version that is most appropriate for your classroom, school, club or activity based on your students social and emotional level.

Then simply complete the form below to receive a pdf version of the #Day1 Declaration.   

Rehearse the #Day1 declaration before presenting to your students. 

Read the #Day1 Declaration on the first day your class or group meets together or on #Day1 of a new beginning when you want to put an end to bullying behavior and begin on a new journey of acceptance, compassion and respect. 

Be sure to personalize the declaration with your school/classroom name in the appropriate spaces.

Receive a verbal acknowledgment of agreement from your students to adhere to the declaration. 

Once you have created a safe respectful community, encourage your individual students to become Upstanders.  Pass out copies of the Upstander Pledge or visit tylerclementi.org/pledge.  Read the pledge aloud together. Discuss what it means to them and answer any questions.  Then have students sign the Upstander Pledge, either on the paper or on the website, whichever works best for you.

Reading the declaration is not a one-and-done situation.  But rather it is a baseline for a constant conversation that will be continued throughout the entire year and again the following year. To assist in these conversations an optional component we suggest is to create artwork or illustrations to support Upstander behavior; it could be as simple as posting the Upstander Pledge or #Day1 Declaration in your classroom or school. This will act as a daily visual reminder to your students and other staff members that this is a safe respectful space for everyone, and bullying behavior will not be tolerated here, in this space. 


#Day1 Declaration

I am proud to teach at this (name of school/classroom), and I am proud to be your teacher. I care about all of you. In this school, we value and celebrate our differences. So I will do whatever I can to make sure that everyone always feels safe and included. I want to make this a safe space for all of you. So today I am going to teach you our most important lesson. I want you to think about it, agree to it and carry it with you this year.

As Upstanders, we all agree that it is never acceptable to hurt others for any reason, through our words or actions, even if we feel frustrated or hurt. It is also never acceptable to tease, hurt or leave others out because of any kind of difference. This difference could be someone’s skin color, home language, sexual orientation, body shape or size, religion, what clothes they wear, their ability level, being a boy or girl, or the way that they speak or act. I am asking you to think carefully about your words and actions, and how they will make others feel.

Bullying is when you hurt another person on purpose, sometimes repeatedly. Today, we agree that any act of bullying against another person– student or adult– online or offline, is wrong. If you notice bullying behavior, don’t remain a passive bystander but intervene safely as an active Upstander. As Upstanders, if you notice bullying behavior, you should interrupt the behavior by telling your classmate to stop. As an Upstander, you also need to report exactly what you saw and heard to the (teacher/trusted adult at school). If the adult is busy or does not fully understand, try calmly explaining it again. Remember: it isn’t “tattling” if you are helping someone. Also, make sure to reach out to the person who was being [targeted] bullied. Ask them if they are OK, make an extra effort to be kind, and tell them you are there to listen. This is what being an Upstander means.

If you notice a classmate feeling alone, sad, or angry, or if you think they might do something unsafe like hurt themselves or others, be kind to them and tell a (teacher/trusted adult). Finally, if someone is bullying you, be an Upstander for yourself by asking for help.

Does everyone understand what I have said and what we expect of you here? Can we all agree to be Upstanders?


Upstander Pledge

I pledge to not remain a passive bystander but rather be an active Upstander when I witness bullying behavior.

As an Upstander;

I will intervene whenever I see or hear anyone being targeted with bullying behavior; whether I’m at school, at home, at work, or in my faith community; whether I am speaking in digital spaces or out in the real world with friends, family, colleagues or teammates. 

  • I will interrupt the bullying behavior, if it feels safe to do so.  I will intervene respectfully by saying: “please stop!”. 
  • I will report what I saw or heard to a trusted adult or person of authority. I will also encourage the person I saw being bullied to report it, too. 
  • I will reach out to the person who was targeted and let them know that bullying is never OK with me, and ask how I can help or assist them to get the help they need. 

I will choose words and actions that show my respect, kindness, and compassion for all people and always make everyone feel included and safe

I will not speak or act negatively about how another person is different from me; including their race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, home language, body shape or size, skin color, ability level, or any other real or perceived difference.  Instead, I will choose to learn about and celebrate what makes them unique, special and precious.  If I hear others speaking or acting negatively because of someone’s differences, I will choose to be an Upstander and speak up.

If I learn in person or online that someone is feeling seriously depressed or potentially suicidal, I will reach out and tell this person, “Your life has value and is important, no matter how you feel at the moment, and no matter what others say or think.”  I will strongly encourage this person to get professional help.

I pledge to be an Upstander! 

Download #Day1 Toolkit for Middle Grades

Can we count on you to implement #Day1 in your school? Please complete this form to receive your easy-to-use PDF copy of the #Day1 toolkit.


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