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A World of Difference/No Place 4 Hate
A World of Difference/No Place 4 Hate
John Burns
Wednesday, November 18, 2020

We are continuing a partnership formed in the 2019/2020 school year with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) in our work to make the GMS community, a welcoming and accepting space for all students and families.


No Place 4 Hate (NP4H)

This morning, we introduced an initiative of our "No Place 4 Hate" Coalition during a whole-school livestream during Anchor Time.  We are asking students to look at the "No Place 4 Hate" Pledge, and encouraging them to commit to the ideals within that pledge.  Typically, we would have asked students to simply sign a large banner for display to indicate their commitment.  In light of our circumstances, it has become a "Flipgrid" project, where they can submit short videos reciting the pledge, or part of the pledge.  Through "Flipgrid", they can even obscure their face and edit the graphics on the video.

This is the pledge:

I WILL SEEK TO GAIN UNDERSTANDING of those who are different from myself.
I WILL SPEAK OUT against prejudice and discrimination.
I WILL REACH OUT to support those who are targets of hate.
I WILL PROMOTE RESPECT for people and help foster a prejudice-free school.
I RECOGNIZE that respecting individual dignity and promoting inter- group harmony are the responsibilities of all students.

The No Place 4 Hate Coalition will be continuing to facilitate whole school activities as we move forward through the year, and we will keep you updated.

A World of Difference (AWOD)

Our new A World of Difference Peer Leaders began their training to facilitate peer training.  Although last year's delivery of the peer training to the wider school community was cut short, we are committed to finding creative ways to make this important initiative work.  The selected seventh and eighth grade students worked via Zoom with staff from ADL this morning, going through various activities and engaging in discussion around issues of prejudice, bias, and their manifestations.  We are so proud of these students' commitment, engagement, and maturity in this morning's training!

The goals of the Peer Training Program are to:

  • Explore the meaning of community and why it’s important for everyone to feel that they belong to the community.

  • Examine the ways in which some school community members could feel left out and identify ways to be an ally.

  • Identify what members of the school community can do to actively promote an inclusive learning environment in which cultural, racial, and other human similarities and differences are respected and valued.

Once the Peer Leaders are trained and have had opportunities to practice their facilitation (likely January/February), they will begin running activities with students during Anchor/Advisory.  We will keep families informed regarding when this will be occurring, and what those activities will be.