After reading article after article last year about Tyler Clementi, Jamey Rodemeyer and the many teenagers that committed suicide due to bullying, tenists Darryl Engel and Adam Schulhof of KinderSmiles in Oradell decided that they would find a way to help initiate a conversation between parents and children. The "wall" was born this August and every child that enters the office is encourage to sign their name in the Band Against Bullying campaign.
"We're exposed to thousands of children a year and after reading all these articles, we wanted to be able to do something," Engel said. "This creates a conduit for parents to talk to their kids about this; as they are helping their children sign their name, they are asking questions, if they have been bullied, do they know what to do. Everyone knows somebody who was bullied or was a bully and it's not something kids should have to live through."
"The kids love it, the parents love it," Schulof added. "Bullying is like the hot topic in the media but winds up happening is that no one is really talking about it. But once they get the bracelets on their wrist, they start talking about it. My daughter wore hers to school and afterwards she came and told me how everyone in her class wanted one, more so after she explained why."
The anti-bullying campaign began just before the new school year started and will continue for at least the next six months. As each child signs their name on the wall, they are given a "Band Against Bullying" bracelet to wear."
"The kids have really embrassed it," dental assistant Keri Glover said. "They wear the bracelet to remind them to not bully one another and work together against it. We're trying to get all of the kids in the area, especially since so many attend Oradell Public School."
For more information about "The Wall", call KinderSmiles at 201-262-0211.