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

Bullying doesn’t magically stop when someone graduates from high school.  For many people, bullying behavior continues into college and adult life. Tyler’s story happened while he was a freshman at Rutgers University, evidence that bullying can happen at any age.

As students adjust to the many new challenges and demands of college life it can sometimes be difficult to clearly see their own self-worth or that of their peers.  On college campuses we often see bullying behaviors alongside hazing and sexual violence, which is why it’s so important to tackle bullying head-on in the college setting.

#Day1 will help institutions of higher education establish a clear boundary regarding unacceptable bullying behavior; while encouraging behavior that celebrates differences, promotes kindness, respect and compassion; as well as giving instruction on to intervene safely and appropriately in a bullying situation.

So let today 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 that is most appropriate for your classroom, club, school, fraternity or sorority, based on your students’ needs or location.

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, or mascot 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 the 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 

At this (College/University) we are committed to creating an environment that is not only about academic excellence, but also about relationships and creating community, one that is safe for and respectful of ALL its members.

I want to make a statement about how you and I are expected to behave here and how you and I are expected not to behave. We all have had times when we have said or done hurtful things to others out of thoughtlessness, lack of awareness, or because it seems like just a joke. We all may be tempted at times to treat other people poorly out of frustration or retaliation or because others are doing it or because someone acts in a way that we don’t like. We ask that you demonstrate awareness, respect, restraint, and self-control. With every comment online or offline, these actions could be doing damage to someone’s feelings and emotional well-being. This is not acceptable.

So let me be clear: any act of harassment, humiliation or bullying against another person… student or faculty or sta online or in person, is against our values. Specifically, harassment based on race, ethnicity, nationality, gender expression, sexual orientation, body shape or size, or physical, mental or learning disability, how much money they have or don’t have, religion, or political beliefs is taken very seriously here. It is every single person’s responsibility to ensure this place continues to be a home away from home for those from all walks of life.

We ask you this: think about your actions and how you want to be treated by others.

In this place we expect you to do your best to demonstrate respect, kindness and empathy to everyone. If you see someone doing harm to another person, report it or if you feel safe, try to stop it. Joining in or doing nothing is not being respectful or kind. If you feel like going the extra step, approach the person who was targeted later with a kind word or gesture. It isn’t tattling or snitching if you are helping someone. You might just be saving someone’s life.

We all make mistakes, so if someone disrespects you, simply say, “That is disrespectful. Please stop.” Get help if the person doesn’t listen. And if someone tells you that something you said or did is hurtful or disrespectful, listen, make amends, and examine your actions.

And now I want to ask: does everyone understand what I have said and what we expect of you here?

Upstander Pledge

I pledge to not remain a passive bystander but rather be an active Upstander when I witness bullying behavior.

As an Upstander;

I will intervene whenever I see or hear anyone being targeted with bullying behavior; whether I’m at school, at home, at work, or in my faith community; whether I am speaking in digital spaces or out in the real world with friends, family, colleagues or teammates. 

  • I will interrupt the bullying behavior if it feels safe to do so.  I will intervene respectfully by saying: “please stop!”. 
  • I will report what I saw or heard to a trusted adult or person of authority. I will also encourage the person I saw being bullied to report it, too. 
  • I will reach out to the person who was targeted and let them know that bullying is never OK with me, and ask how I can help or assist them to get the help they need. 

I will choose words and actions that show my respect, kindness, and compassion for all people and always make everyone feel included and safe

I will not speak or act negatively about how another person is different from me; including their race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, home language, body shape or size, skin color, ability level, or any other real or perceived difference.  Instead, I will choose to learn about and celebrate what makes them unique, special and precious.  If I hear others speaking or acting negatively because of someone’s differences, I will choose to be an Upstander and speak up.

If I learn in person or online that someone is feeling seriously depressed or potentially suicidal, I will reach out and tell this person, “Your life has value and is important, no matter how you feel at the moment, and no matter what others say or think.”  I will strongly encourage this person to get professional help.

I pledge to be an Upstander!

Download #Day 1 Toolkit for Higher Education

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. 





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