BRIARCLIFF MANOR, N.Y. – Briarcliff Manor teenagers are expressing their love for one another in an effort to fight bullying in the Briarcliff School District, and they’re not letting the winter weather stop them.
With school shortened by snow Friday, Briarcliff High School students decided to continue their anti-bullying, suicide and depression movement, known as “PS I Love You Day,” into Monday.
Last week, High School students Nikki Metzger, Grace Shaw and Max Keston helped host presentations at Briarcliff Middle School and encouraged high school and middle school students to wear purple pins and clothing Friday.
Metzger, 17, said the response was overwhelming.
“It was outstanding,” she said, adding that sixth graders stayed after school last week to post purple notes on every sixth grade locker to help promote the day. “I was amazed at how many middle school students were wearing purple. In addition, the entire middle school was covered in positive purple notes saying things such as ‘You're Awesome,’ ‘You're Needed’ and ‘PS I Love You.’ ”
On Monday, middle school students were slated to sign contracts in which they promised not to tolerate bullying.
Metzger and Keston helped organize the “PS I Love You Day” campaign after attending the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Seminar last year and learning about Brooke DiPalma, who lost her father to suicide. Metzger and Keston then asked Shaw, a sophomore who is set to attend this year’s seminar, to join them and help bring in underclassmen at the high school.
Shaw said she was “touched” by DiPalma’s message, which is to remind people who are depressed, bullied and suicidal that someone cares for them.
“Even though I don’t really have connections to it, it really opened my eyes to what is happening and showed me that I could help,” Shaw said. “Bullying starts at a young age and really can affect life when you get older. Kids need to start realizing early how much this hurts people and what it actually does to them.”