An innovative campaign that’s rooted in research to help stop bullying before it starts.

It’s never too early to discuss bullying!  Raising self-awareness and helping youth to set acceptable boundaries on their behaviors are essential lessons all children need to learn, internalize and understand. 

The earlier that bullying behavior can be identified the easier it will be to modify and change.

Any day can be #Day1 to create a safe classroom environment free of bullying behavior.  You just need to get started…..

Review the below #Day1 Declaration. Additional options are available. Choose the version of the declaration that is most appropriate for your classroom, club, or school, based on your students.

Then simply complete the form below to receive a pdf version of the #Day1 Declaration.   

Rehearse the #Day1 declaration before presenting to your students. 

Read the Declaration on #Day1 of your group meeting together or on #Day1 of a new beginning when you want to put an end to bullying behavior and begin on a new journey of acceptance, compassion, and respect.  

Be sure to personalize the declaration with your school/classroom name in the appropriate spaces. 

Receive a verbal acknowledgment of agreement from your students to adhere to the declaration.  

Once you have created a safe respectful community, encourage your individual students to become Upstanders.  Pass out copies of the Upstander Pledge or visit the pledge aloud together. Discuss what it means to them and if they have any questions.  Then have students sign the Upstander Pledge, either on paper or on the website, whichever works best for you.

Reading the declaration is not a one-and-done situation.  But rather it is a baseline for a constant conversation that will be continued throughout the entire year and again the following year. To assist in these conversations an optional component we suggest is to create artwork or illustrations, such as the Upstander Pledge or #Day1, that can act as a reminder to support the #Day1 Declaration or the Upstander Pledge.  This will act as a daily visual reminder to your students and other staff members that this is a safe respectful space for everyone, and bullying behavior will not be acceptable here.  

#Day1 Declaration 

I am so happy that you are all here with me at (name of school/classroom). I am proud to be your teacher and I want you to be proud (name of school) students. I want us to have a safe and successful school year. So today I am going to tell you how students at (name of school) are expected to behave. (I/We) expect you to act and speak with kindness and respect. I also expect you to speak up if you see any kind of bullying. If you ever feel unsafe in school, tell me or another adult right away. This is what it means to be an Upstander.

Bullying is when a person hurts somebody else on purpose. Either by being unkind or unsafe with their words or bodies or by leaving them out of a game or activity. Bullying can make a person feel unsafe, sad, scared, or lonely. Bullying is always against our rules. Even if someone hurts you, being mean back does not work and is against our rules.

If you ever notice or experience bullying, these are examples of how Upstanders should respond…

  • If someone is acting in unkind or hurtful ways to you or someone else, you can tell them, repeat after me: “That’s not respectful or kind. Please stop!”
  • If speaking up doesn’t stop the bullying behavior, or if it makes you feel unsafe, please get help from me, another teacher, or an adult you trust, you can say, repeat after me: “I need help.”
  • If you make a mistake and hurt someone else, whether you meant to or not, speak up and apologize. You can say, repeat after me: “I’m sorry. That was not kind. What can I do to help?”

In this classroom, we don’t tease or hurt others because of how they seem different, even if their difference makes us uncomfortable or frustrated. We should always treat others with kindness and respect.

A person could seem different to us for many reasons, including:

  • the way they talk, act, dress, or play
  • if they choose to act or dress like you think a boy or girl should
  • their ability level in class, sports, or games
  • their skin color, body shape or size, family traditions, or languages they speak at home
  • who they love or who their parents love– whether they have one dad, one mom, two moms, or two dads

It doesn’t matter how they seem different! Being mean to anyone for being different is against our rules! Here, we value everyone.

Finally, I expect all of you to tell me or another trusted adult if a classmate is talking about hurting themselves or hurting others, or if you are feeling unsafe or uncomfortable with another person. Be an Upstander for yourself and others.

Does everyone understand what it means to be an Upstander? If you do, repeat after me: “I am an Upstander!”

Upstander Pledge

If I ever notice someone being bullied in person or online…

If I ever notice online or offline bullying…

  • I will choose to be an Upstander.
  • I will speak up and say “please stop!” if it feels safe.
  • I will get help from a trusted adult or tell the person to report the bullying behavior.
  • I will reach out to the person who was being bullied, tell them that bullying is never OK with me and that I am by their side.
  • I will not treat anyone negatively because of their differences: the way they talk, act, dress, or play; skin color or religion; their family, or their body. I will celebrate what makes them unique. If I see someone being bullied because of their differences, I will speak up.
  • If I see someone feeling alone or sad, I will show kindness to this person. I will ask, “Are you ok?” and listen to them. I will let them know that bullying is not OK with me. I will tell them to ask an adult for help or tell an adult myself.
  • I pledge to be an Upstander today and every day!

Download #Day1 Toolkit for Early Grades 

Can we count on you to implement #Day1 in your school? Please complete this form to receive your easy-to-use PDF copy of the #Day1 toolkit. 



Additional Resources Early Grades


Upstander Certificate for Youth

Download the Upstander Certificate for Youth

Download and print this simple certificate that gives each student an opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to be an Upstander to their peers.


Help us reach our goal of recruiting 1 million Upstanders.


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