Cloonan student is poster girl for anti-bullying

Cloonan student Isabella Petrini was the cover girl for the Jan. 9, 2012 issue of Scholastic News

Remember Isabella Petrini? We ran a story about her last Spring, in which we described the club she and her friends initiated at Cloonan Middle School to create a more positive environment.

Isabella graced the cover of the Jan. 9, 2012 edition of Scholastic News. A story about her efforts appeared on page four of the magazine. Here’s an excerpt about her efforts:

Last year, Isabella helped put togehter an antibullying group with about 25 other students. The group tries to raise awareness about the problem. For example, the students held an antibullying poster contest. Group members have also written an antibullying pledge for all students at the school to sign.

As Isabella knows, there are two keys to stop bullying. The first is understanding what it is. The second is encouraging others to stand up against it.

Photocopies of the story were passed out at Tuesday night’s Board of Education meeting, and Isabella and several of her classmates were honored by the Stamford Public Schools district for making “an impact not only at Cloonan, but at schools across the country through virtual conferences conducted with the organization College for Every Student.”

In addition to honoring Isabella, the district and the Board of Education recognized 20 other students: Kelly Finn; Jenna Lewis; Taylor Price; Catherine Williams; Alyssa Blank; Rachel Burston; Jack Denning; Valeska Florez; Anna Freeda; Ayanna Johnson; Erick Lam; Alea McShaw; Natalie Olshan; James Pensiero; Tiara Taylor; William Tenorio; Morgan Thibodeau; Nick Vaccaro; Arrionne Watson; and Bristy Yorbana.

Here at the Advocate, we’re working on a year-long initiative called Speak Out Against Bullying, which aims to tell a variety of stories about the topic of bullying from a wide range of points of view. If you have a story about bullying you’d like to share, reach us on our Facebook page or email

Maggie Gordon