SPRINGFIELD -- Nearly 300 Illinois schools will participate in National Mix It Up at Lunch Day today to prevent bullying. That includes schools in Springfield District 186. It's all part of the Southern Poverty Law Center's Teaching Tolerance Project exercise.
The event encourages students to sit with someone new in the cafeteria for just one day. Teaching Tolerance started the program in 2002 to "foster respect and understanding" among students.
Officials say cafeterias are the focus of the program because that's where a school's "social boundaries" are most obvious. They say breaking down those barriers can help reduce bullying and create a school environment that is safe and in which students can feel welcome.
Tune into WAND News tonight at 5:00 & 6:00 as Ed Cross talks with students and teachers about the importance of stopping bullying.