Eagle Harbor High student leads Commodore students in anti-bullying effort

After struggling with being bullied in elementary and middle school, Eagle Harbor High School junior Otis Doxtater created a program that helps students learn tolerance, unity and kindness.

Otis’ efforts inspired many students Tuesday when he led the Commodore K-12 Options School student body and employees in an anti-bullying program.

Prior to a morning assembly, Otis visited classrooms with a strip of orange paper for each student. The students wrote what made them special on one side of the paper and on the other described what things they would do to stop bullying. The classrooms then created a chain of orange links, which later were connected with the rest of the school’s classes during a silent lunchroom procession.

Otis is known to many island residents for holding an anti-bullying sign near the Bainbridge McDonald’s restaurant on High School Road, off State Route 305. With “Stop Bullying” on one side and “Love and Equality” on the other, the signs elicited support and people wanting to talk to him about bullying.

“At Eagle Harbor High School everyone knows everyone and people are very accepting,” Otis said in a news release published by the Bainbridge Island School District. “I really found the right fit here. Now I want to help others feel they can talk freely about bullying prevention and know their actions can make a difference.”

Otis’ efforts coincide with the eighth annual National Unity Day on Wednesday (Oct. 22), which encourages schools, businesses and communities to come together against bullying and unite by wearing orange with a message of support, hope and unity.

Bainbridge Islander, Schools

About Ethan Fowler

Ethan Fowler has more than 20 years of journalism experience with 19 years of daily and weekly newspaper experience covering news, features and sports, as well as being an editor for 14 of those years. He has won several writing awards over the years in Washington state, Virginia, Texas and Georgia, including award-winning investigative journalism. Fowler was paid by the Review & Herald Publishing Association in 2009 to co-author a book, "Brushed Back: The Story of Trevor Bullock," with his wife. The book details the real life of a top minor league pitcher in the Philadelphia Phillies organization and his Christian faith. "Brushed Back" has sold more than 2,000 copies since its release.