North Middle School and South Middle School recently hosted full-day celebrations to kick off their No Place for Hate initiatives for the 2018-19 school year. Both schools are recognized by the Anti-Defamation League as official Gold Star No Place for Hate Schools for their commitment to combating bullying, racism, and prejudice.
South Middle hosted their kick-off event on Nov. 27, featuring guest speaker Anne-Marie Brungard Knight from the Anti-Defamation League. The “Step Up!” assembly encouraged students to be upstanders—not bystanders—when they witness bullying or prejudice. Knight spoke to all South Middle students over the course of three separate grade-level assemblies.
North Middle held their kick-off event on Nov. 30 with three guest speakers connected through the theme, “Linking the Past to the Present – There is No Place for Hate in Our Lives.”
Sixth graders met with Jim Banks, a professor and coordinator of multicultural affairs at Suffolk County Community College, who discussed the civil rights movement, contemporary issues, and the need to embrace diversity as a way to create communities of peace.
SCCC professor Steven Klipstein spoke to seventh graders about the life and legacy of Jackie Robinson, and how his contributions influenced culture and history.
Holocaust survivor Max Temkin shared his personal story of courage and survival with eighth graders, and reminded students to always show their love and eliminate hate in their lives.
In conjunction with these assemblies, middle school students read the No Place for Hate Resolution for Respect, an oath to foster a positive school environment. Students were also invited to sign a No Place for Hate banner that will hang in the school lobby.
To become a No Place for Hate School, schools must form a committee to oversee and promote harmony and respect for differences, officially present the Resolution for Respect, and hold three or more activities during the year that celebrate diversity and promote respect.