Tracy students come together to raise awareness for anti-bullying month


Anti-Bullying red carpet event photo by Isabel Cruz

Isabel Cruz, Staff Reporter

With pompoms in hand and smiles across their faces, dozens of students from Kimball, Tracy and West High School lined the red carpet and cheered as families filed in the room.

The Tracy Unified School District Anti-Bullying Committee held the 8th annual Red Carpet Award Ceremony on Wednesday, November 14 in Kimball High School’s Sports Complex to celebrate Anti-Bullying month. Students of the elementary, middle and high schools of Tracy Unified School District (TUSD) were asked to interpret the theme of the night, “Kindness counts, it starts with me!” and express it in the form of a poster. Many participated, but only a select group from each school became finalists to be awarded. The finalists also had the honor of having their vibrant, inspiring art displayed along the walls of the entryway to be admired by all.

The night kicked off with a performance from Williams Middle School’s talented band, followed by the national anthem sung by Kimball’s Classics accompanied by West High Air Force JROTC and the Pledge of Allegiance led by students from South West Park Elementary school. After an acknowledgment of the attending dignitaries by Brian Pekari, the director and founder of Tracy United to Make a Difference, followed a student presentation. Students from the Tracy High Bulldog project, the Kimball High Jaguar Project and our own West High Leadership acted as mentors to the younger kids, standing before the attendees and delivering prepared speeches where they shared their own personal experiences with bullying and advice on what we can do to help each other. Among those speakers were West High juniors Rachel Davis and Farah Atmasri. The event concluded with the talented finalists of the poster contest receiving their awards from TUSD superintendent and board members. In Director of Student Services, Dr. Rob Pecot’s own words, “The night was a success.” He hopes that after this night, “we can set the standard for the next generation of students.”

Hundreds of Tracy residents including Tracy Mayor Robert Rickman, West High alumnus and now city councilman Dan Arriola and West High principal Dr. Zachary Boswell came out to celebrate Anti-Bullying month as well as the student’s successes.

Senior Madina Samady believes that the Anti-Bullying Red Carpet is “important to spread awareness just so everyone is able to understand that these issues happen, and it’s not something that can be pushed away; it’s something that needs to be talked about.”

For those who do deal with being bullied, freshman Izaiah Quiruz reminds you that “you are not alone” and senior Samantha Beidler advises you to “stay strong. It will get better.”