JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. -- Students from Imagine Andrews Public Charter School and local community members participated in the JBA Children’s March Against Bullying here today, as part of the 11th Wing's Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Special Observance.
The 11th Wing Commander's Action Group, along with the wing Equal Opportunity office, is charged with planning special observances and commemorations throughout the year.
“MLK is known for bringing people together to raise awareness on social issues and injustices by using non-violent marches,” said Tech. Sgt. Sara Kelley, 11th Wing CAG deputy director. “[The CAG and Imagine Andrews] thought it would be good to incorporate the students to educate them about a way to unite and communicate issues they encounter, like bullying, in a peaceful way.”
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, approximately 21 percent of students ages 12 to 18 reported being bullied at school during the school year.
“[Imagine Andrews] wants to make sure their students are able to identify what bullying is and make sure it’s understood that bullying will not be tolerated,” said H. Douglas Rice II, Imagine Andrews principal.
The march aimed to promote respect for all ages, genders, and backgrounds, while also providing the younger generation an homage to the peaceful protests King was known for leading.
"This march is about commemorating the leadership, the vision and the courage of Dr. King," said Col. E. John Teichert. 11th Wing and JBA commander. "We look to his example as he stood for respect and dignity for everyone. Bullying is wrong and does not bring dignity or respect, no matter who you are. It has no place in our community."