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Eagle Ridge Elementary School, Explorer Middle School, Greenway Middle School, and Vista Verde Middle School have received the Anti-Defamation League® No Place for Hate® designation for creating safe and respectful learning environments, bringing awareness to issues of bullying and bias throughout the 2019-2020 school year.
Each school has taken its own approach to implement and instill the values of the No Place for Hate motto in students and staff members.
In order to implement the No Place for Hate motto throughout the campus, students and staff members signed the annual respect resolution. Each classroom has a No Place For Hate poster that is also signed by students and the teacher. Eagle Ridge Elementary School received several grants this year, and part of the money was used to purchase No Place for Hate T-shirts for committee members; many staff members have also purchased shirts to wear on Thursdays. Committee members are assigned classrooms to share information that has been discussed at the meetings. During the Thursday morning announcement, announcements that have been created and submitted by both individual students and classes are read. Eagle Ridge also hosted three school-wide inclusive activities.
“Becoming a No Place for Hate designation school means that students are able to come to school and feel included. They are treated with respect and kindness by peers. We celebrate and recognize the diversity of our school and each other’s cultures,” explains Katrina Dieck, principal at Eagle Ridge Elementary School.
During the month of December, Eagle Ridge hosts a Title I event called Storybook Night in which the school partners with the Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA). In one building, teachers are reading stories, and students are completing art projects. In the cafeteria, the PTSA sets up a family event with treats and photos with Santa. Last year, the No Place for Hate committee decided this would be a good time to incorporate a cultural craft and food project.
“This year, we decided to focus on our Native American population. Our craft was sandpaper art, where students drew images on sandpaper. We also purchased Indian Fry Bread to let the students and community try food from the culture,” said Dieck.
The Heard Museum loans out traveling panels that describe Native American boarding schools. Teachers had the opportunity to visit the school library, where the panels were housed, to read and discuss the panels with their students. Question and discussion activities were available for the intermediate grades. The media tech also pulled out books on Native Americans and had those available for classes to view. Prior to the classrooms visiting the panels, the teacher sponsors met with the No Place for Hate committee to teach them first, in case their classmates had any questions they might be able to answer. The panels were set up in the library for about three weeks, culminating with the annual Storybook Night, where the parents could learn from them, as well.
The ADL Arizona committee voted Eagle Ridge’s Heard Museum panels activity as one of the top three activities of the year.
At Explorer Middle School, the No Place for Hate motto challenged the staff to create social/emotional learning opportunities throughout the year that promote tolerance and acceptance. For example, through the ‘“mix-it-up” event at lunch, students were challenged to sit at a table with seven of their peers, picked at random, and carry out a conversation with them using conversation starters. This provided an opportunity for Explorer students to get to know other students that might not normally be in their social circles.
“The No Place for Hate designation is a great accomplishment for our school as we continue to provide a positive, inclusive learning environment for all of our students, said Kyle Shappee, principal at Explorer Middle School.
No Place for Hate has become a strong aspect of Greenway Middle School. Every year, students, as a whole school, are taught about the organization and its purpose. “We begin every single morning with a No Place for Hate quote, as well as encourage No Place for Hate T-Shirts to be worn every Tuesday. Our committee has formed two separate sub-committees with the students, seventh and eighth grade, who meet twice a month and plan activities, random acts of kindness, as well as events for the students campus-wide. We have worked together to create a unity quilt, suicide-awareness posters, along with other signs around the school. We use this motto as a code to check interactions that are considered or could be considered bullying,” said Jeff Quisberg, principal at Greenway Middle School.
For eight years, No Place for Hate ADL has designated Greenway Middle School as a No Place for Hate School. Greenway prides itself on the hard work our students do every year to encourage love, tolerance, and friendships. Coming from diverse backgrounds and many different ethnicities, students have to come together and learn about each other, especially learn to love each other. With this program, staff members are able to teach them and show them how tolerance makes the world go round and without it, we would fall apart.
The Vista Verde Middle School community took the Resolution of Respect, which is
I pledge from this day forward to do my best to combat prejudice and to stop those who, because of hate or ignorance, would hurt anyone or violate their civil rights. I will try at all times to be aware of my own biases and seek to gain understanding of those who I perceive as being different from myself. I will speak out against all forms of prejudice and discrimination. I will reach out to support those who are targets of hate. I will think about specific ways my community members can promote respect for people and create a prejudice-free zone. I firmly believe that one person can make a difference and that no person can be an innocent bystander when it comes to opposing hate. I recognize that respecting individual dignity, achieving equality, and promoting inter-group harmony are the responsibilities of all people. By signing this pledge, I commit myself to create a community that is NO PLACE FOR HATE®
“My favorite activities were creating an environment for respect and unity at Vista Verde and the classroom Be an Ally Poster Contest for students to share what being an ally meant and our community art mural project that brought our community together to build relationships and collaborate,” said Vista Verde Principal Paul Ferrero.
ADL’s anti-bias, allyship, and bullying prevention programs assist PreK-12 educators and students in understanding and challenging bias, building ally behaviors, and creating a climate of respect. No Place for Hate guides schools toward fostering and maintaining a positive school climate through campus-wide activities, student leadership, and community involvement.
No Place for Hate is an initiative for PreK-12 schools committed to creating sustainable change that leads to improved school climate. The goal of No Place for Hate is to inspire a national movement led by students and educators who are committed to using the power of positive peer influence to build inclusive and safe schools in which all students can thrive. Participating schools incorporate ADL’s anti-bias and anti-bullying curricula with their own creative programming to form one powerful message that all students have a place to belong. Over 1,800 Pre-K-12 schools across the country participated in No Place for Hate programming in the 2019-20 school year.