For the third consecutive year, West Hempstead Middle School has been named a No Place for Hate School by the Anti-Defamation League.
According to the ADL’s website, No Place for Hate is an initiative designed to create inclusive school communities by promoting unity and respect and empowering schools to reduce bullying, name-calling and other expressions of bias.
West Hempstead Middle School Principal Dina Reilly congratulated the students who had helped the school earn this designation once again. “Whether you’re moving on to the high school or carrying on in the middle school, make sure you continue to shine a light on the importance of promoting dignity and tolerance and creating an inclusive school atmosphere for all students, teachers and faculty,” she said.
The distinction recognizes students, teachers and administrators for their development and training in bullying, harassment and discrimination. Participating schools complete ADL-approved activities and projects to promote unity and reduce bullying through involved discussions, active learning and action planning.
Among the ADL activities, the middle school instituted the “Beautiful Me” program for girls in grades 6-8, which focuses on positive self-esteem, the importance of friendship and the reward of helping others. Earlier this spring, the school participated in a “Pay It Forward” campaign, where students were rewarded with bracelets and certificates for performing small acts of kindness. Throughout the year, students participated in the PTA’s “Don’t Press Send” assembly to discuss cyberbullying, and sixth-graders contributed to small group lessons conducted by the guidance department about bullying versus conflicts. Lastly, the entire school community partook in P.S. I Love You Day, where students sent messages of kindness to teachers, staff and other students during lunch periods.
In the fall, the middle school will establish a Dignity and Tolerance club, designed to celebrate diversity and tolerance toward all students by combating bullying behaviors. Members of the DAT club will develop initiatives to create a more inclusive school culture.
West Hempstead was selected as a winner of this designation among schools from the five boroughs, Long Island, Westchester and Orange counties, and Northern New Jersey.
The district commends its students for earning this distinction and creating a welcoming environment in the middle school.