Hundreds of people join in the inaugural "Best Friends Walk Together: Anti-Bullying Walk" on Riverside Drive Saturday. A sister walk also took place in Pojoaque. Valley Daily Post photo
Two Communities Hold Two Walks To End Bullying
Two communities, three school districts and two groups marching, but one mission; end bullying in our Valley. On Saturday, Oct. 17 the Crisis Center of Northern New Mexico hosted the first annual “Best Friends Walk Together” anti-bullying walk. Partners including Pojoaque Valley Schools, Espanola Valley Public Schools, Los Alamos Public Schools and others came together to host two separate walks and then a joint balloon launch at the Espanola Plaza.
Superintendents from both Pojoaque Valley Schools and Española Public Schools participated in both walks, along with students and staff. Approximately 200 people walked first in Pojoaque from Cities of Gold Casino to Pojoaque Market and then they moved to Espanola where they walked from the Santa Claran casino to the Espanola Plaza.
Superintendents Mel Morgan from Pojoaque and Bobbie
Gutierez from Española. Valley Daily Post photo
Senator Richard Martinez and Rio Arriba County Magistrate Judge Alexandra Naranjo both joined the walkers in Espanola and then addressed the crowd, speaking about the impact of bullying on individuals of all ages.
Rio Arriba County Magistrate Judge Alexandra Naranjo and Senator Richard Martinez participated in the Saturday walk. Valley Daily Post photo
October is National Bullying Prevention Month and today, Wednesday, Oct. 21 is Unity Day: Together Against Bullying — United for Kindness Acceptance Inclusion.
Los Alamos Public Schools also participated in the walk and issued a statement saying “with all the momentum generated on Saturday, LAPS is sending this reminder that bullying prevention is everyone’s responsibility and is important every day of the year. The effective education of our students requires a school environment where every student and staff member feels safe and secure.”
Over the past few years bullying has risen in the public consciousness and several high profile cases of online bullying have resulted in suicides and attempted suicide. The Crisis Center of Northern New Mexico encourages anyone who is being bullied or knows someone who is being bullied and is concerned about them to contact them at 505-753-1656 for help and support.
See below for more images from the day.
Walkers march through Pojoaque prior to the Espanola march. Valley Daily Post image
The Espanola Police led the march and the fire department followed the walkers in their trucks. Johnnica Armijo, Alysa Bustamonte, Marcus Bustamonte, Kayleena Valdez and Melody Mascarenas rest on a fire truck for the start of the walk. Valley Daily Post image
Trinity Lucero and Casandra Martinez help out at the start of the Espanola march by signing marchers in. Valley Daily Post image
Pojoaque Superintendent Mel Morgan walks down Riverside Drive in Espanola with several of his students, staff and parents. Valley Daily Post
Releasing the balloons at the Plaza. Valley Daily Post image