“What words hurt you?” Teachers around the school sat with their students last Thursday to engage in a discussion about acceptance and diversity. Students saw various pictures of graffiti and notes that contained hate speech, some of which were found at Miramonte. The discussion was opened by a video from Ms.Parks, and closed by clips of Miramonte students choosing adjectives that described them best.
The decision to hold this session started from observing the national and local disunion, and feeling that there needed to be a sense of community and coming together, Assistant Principals Jan Carlson and Zac Pinkerton said. Concerned about unrest, administration wanted to have a conversation that was personal and more conducive to understanding than a regular assembly. With the help of the “Equiteam,” composed of the presidents of clubs dealing with social issues such as the BSU and LSU, administration crafted questions for the breakout session.
The hope was to create a place in every fourth period where students felt comfortable enough to have a conversation because they already knew the people they would be talking to. Additionally, a large assembly would have been impersonal, and the point was to speak directly to each other. “It’s one thing to have an adult tell you not to do something ‘because I said so,’ but it’s another to hear a peer say ‘this hurts,’” Carlson and Pinkerton said.
In the future, administration hopes to see the effects of this new method of preventing an issue before it becomes a problem