Sutton Middle School kicked off its No Place For Hate Campaign with a school-wide assembly on Friday. No Place For Hate is an initiative of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) offered free to schools and designed to rally the entire school around the goal of stopping all forms of bias and bullying. The event was hosted by the Positive Action Committee (PAC), a group of 12 students nominated by their teachers to represent their respective grades.
Sutton parent Kymberlee Estis (pictured above) helped bring No Place For Hate to Sutton with the enthusiastic and energetic support of Principal Audrey Sofianos, Assistant Principal Staughton Jennings and Academic Dean Michelle Bouldin.
“The PAC is diverse, with representation from many of the cultural and ethnic communities at Sutton” Estis said. “They see a lot of value in students developing an understanding of each other’s backgrounds and traditions.”
The kickoff event featured motivational speaker Big James (pictured below), who spoke about the importance of making positive choices and treating all people with respect. Most important, students themselves are leading No Place For Hate. A diverse group of selected student leaders, representing all grade levels, announced the launch of the initiative at the assembly and read the Resolution of Respect that the entire school will be asked to sign. The students have named their group the “Positive Action Committee” and will organize projects throughout the year that represent the themes and lessons of No Place For Hate.
At the end of the year, Sutton can earn ADL’s official designation as a “No Place for Hate School.”
Holli Levinson, ADL’s Southeast Region Education Director, said of the kickoff event, “I am so impressed with the efforts of Sutton Middle School to make their school No Place for Hate. We hear so many stories about what goes wrong in schools, but this is a great example of what is going right. Sutton has rallied the entire school community – parents, educators, and students –to work together to create a community of respect. Not only does this strengthen the school, but it prepares young people to live and work successfully in our pluralistic nation and global community. I have no doubt that this Spring we’ll present Sutton with their banner designating them an official No Place for Hate school!”