School pupils in South Tyneside and their teachers have socked it to bullies – by standing together toe to toe.
Almost 250 youngsters at Holy Trinity CofE Academy in South Shields, wore odd socks for a day - to prove being different is hunky dory.
Their stance – they were joined by 28 teaching staff - formed part of Odd Socks Day, a national event aimed at putting bullies on the back foot.
It is a major element of the annual Anti-Bullying Week, organised by the Anti-Bullying Alliance (ABA), which ended yesterday.
As part of the project at the Brockley Avenue school, the children each also coloured in a paper sock on which they wrote messages about respect and consideration for others.
These have been connected by string and hung around the school’s entrance.
Additional needs manager Julie Allan and Sharen (CORR) Chow, child wellbeing officer, were instrumental in the event’s success.
Mrs Allan said: “The children thoroughly enjoyed taking part and are very proud to have done so.
“The behaviour of the children at this school is exemplary, and I think the care and support they have for each other is something we felt we could highlight through Odd Socks Day.
“It is an important initiative that has helped the children to better understand bullying.”
Odd Socks Day was launched across the country by CBeebies presenter, Andy Day, an ABA patron.
His band, Andy and the Odd Socks, has even recorded a song – titled Choose Respect - celebrating the event.
The ABA said the sock initiative gave children the opportunity to express themselves and celebrate their individuality and what makes people unique.
A spokesman said: “Most importantly, Odd Socks Day is designed to be fun.
“There is no pressure on the children to wear the latest fashion or for parents to buy expensive costumes.
“All they have to do to take part is wear odd socks to school, it couldn’t be simpler.”
The theme of Anti-Bullying Week was to choose respect over bullying.
It aimed to support schools to help children and young people, school staff, parents and other professionals who work with children to understand the definition of respect.
The event also aimed to deliver the message that bullying is a behaviour choice, and that people can respectfully disagree with each other.
It also promoted the idea that people should choose to respect each other, both face to face and online.