Respect Week promotes values of encouragement, awareness, and prevention at East


From October 7 to 11, East seeks to promote values of compassion, tolerance, and positivity among students

Spanning throughout the week of October 7, Respect Week is marked up on East’s calendar. Organized by State of New Jersey Department of Education, the event seeks to assure that schools develop and maintain a positive and compassionate environment.

Every school within New Jersey is required to have Respect Week during the school year. At East, uplifting quotes are announced every morning to spread this message of positivity, in the hopes of preventing negativity from spreading among students, with a particular focus on the prevention of bullying

The Department of Education requires that every school dedicates a week in October to the event. The Department stresses the importance of the week because it believes it necessary “to recognize the importance of social and emotional learning and character education by providing age-appropriate instruction focused on preventing HIB.” 

Unfortunately, the students and teachers at East are not hearing the quotes and may not even be familiar with the concept of this week due to the technology-related outages. However, despite technical difficulties, Mrs. DiStefano says that students “should be respectful anyway…I understand the [week] is to basically highlight [the idea of respect], but it should be continuing.”

The concept of “Respect Week” sounds like it only promotes ideas of positivity and respect for a week, but in reality, this stress on awareness and prevention lasts throughout the month. October is devoted to promoting the importance of empathy and respect, as well as the dangers of using drugs and bullying. Ultimately, the week prepares for Violence Prevention Week, leading into the 14th to the 18th. and commencing with Red Ribbon Week from the 24th to the 31st. 

Violence Prevention and Red Ribbon Week promote similar concepts and values to Respect week. All three of these annual events tie  into October, which is recognized as “prevention month” by many schools. “Red Ribbon Week…is not a state-mandated week but it’s like a [nationally] recognized week,” says Mrs. DiStefano.

During Red Ribbon Week, students can dress up and win small prizes based on their creativity. The popular dress up days include Class Spirit Day and Pajama Day. In addition, every dress-up day will promote a certain theme and campaign to educate students on an integral issue. For example, Blackout day focuses on the dangers of vaping, which has increased significance today due to  rising controversies about the impacts of vaping. 

Although this month may seem simply like a time to dress up, win prizes and have fun on a school day, the month of October at East has the power to change the lives of its students, from its efforts of reflecting positivity to spreading awareness of disputes that are common among teenagers today.