On Thursday, October 15, faculty and staff members at St. James' Episcopal School wore purple in a stand against bullying and to show their support for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth. The effort was part of a nationwide day of action organized by GLAAD (formerly the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation).
GLAAD outlines the history of the day on their website:
High school student Brittany McMillan founded Spirit Day in 2010 in response to the alarming number of young LGBT lives lost to suicide – notably, the loss of Tyler Clementi. She wanted to create a day of awareness, acceptance, and love to prevent such tragedies. With GLAAD's help, millions of teachers, workplaces, media personalities, and students wore purple, which symbolizes spirit on the rainbow flag, to stand in solidarity with LGBT youth.
Today, Spirit Day is an international movement of solidarity. Every year since 2010, on the third Thursday of October, millions go purple to stand up against bullying and to accelerate acceptance for LGBT kids, teens, and young adults. When Laverne Cox lit the Empire State Building purple during last year's Spirit Day, she got to the heart of the vision: "I want LGBTQ youth all over this country to know that they are beautiful, to know that they are divinely made, and that their lives matter."
At St. James', in addition to the collective fashion statement, teachers integrated anti-bullying messages into their lessons for the day, with the help of Rob Krueger, 5th Grade Teacher and Service Learning Coordinator. Mr. Krueger visited classes to read stories and deliver age-appropriate messages on what students can do to prevent bullying.