No Place For Hate

Shruthi Krishnamurthy, Editor-in-Chief

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“No Place for Hate” is an initiative designed to create inclusive communities and empower schools to challenge all forms of bigotry. Recently, Wayne Valley held a Week of Respect to promote the ideals of this initiative: diversity, gender equality, respect, understanding differences, and combating microaggressions.

No Place for Hate will also create a safer learning environment, promote unity and respect, and reduce bullying. However, this policy is different from the current policy, HIB. While the latter mentioned is a law that firmly states the parameters of harassment, intimidation, and bullying, the former is an initiative crafted to reduce the number of HIB cases. The district believes that by educating the schools in respect, diversity, and acceptance, students will be less likely violate this law.

All public schools in the Wayne Township have implemented this initiative. The district hopes to become the first district in New Jersey to receive recognition for a No Place for Hate district. Ms. Miller, Wayne Valley’s Anti-Bullying Specialist and guidance counselor, “hope[s] to have more acceptance because of this and for students to have a better understanding of HIB and treating everyone with respect.” Although this initiative has been executed in other schools across the nation, a whole school district has not been seen to do so. Wayne Public Schools hopes to be the first!

In order to reinforce the idea that we are a No Place for Hate school, some of our clubs created a week of respect.  Each day focused on different ways we can respect one another and promote acceptance.

On Monday, the We Act Club sponsored “Band Together for Diversity.” Students and staff wore a shirt of their favorite band. Uplifting and relevant music played between class periods.

National Honor Society hosted Gender Equality day on Tuesday. Students and staff wore pink to raise awareness to gender discrimination and sexism. NHS students hung posters around the school with historic and inspirational quotes about sexism and to promote gender equality.

On Wednesday, students made a pledge to “Stop. Block. Tell.” Our FBLA club encouraged students to make this pledge by taking a colored card with the student’s name on it to spell out the word “respect” on a wall in the glass storefront of the FBLA school store. This pledge was to make Wayne Valley a place for no hate, and more importantly, to end cyberbullying. During homeroom, the whole school viewed a video about cyberbullying.

Our GSA club hosted “The world is Better Colorful” on Thursday. This day promoted understanding and respect for all. Students wore colorful clothing and developed other projects illustrated our differences.

The Peer Leaders ended the week by teaching our students about microa

ggressions. Microaggression is a statement, action, or incident regarded as an instance of indirect, subtle, or unintentional discrimination against a specific group. They cover all the topics from race to gender to religion and more. The Peer Leaders hoped this opened our students’ eyes to things they may not are offensive.

“No Place For Hate” week was a successful way to introduce this initiative that will make Wayne Valley a better school.

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