To kick-off Not In Our Schools (NIOS) Week celebrations, students arrived at school in “We’re All In This Together” T-shirts designed by graphics teacher Mark Gleason. As per the tradition, the shirts primarily featured the school colors red and black.
Meanwhile, English and world language teachers were encouraged to involve their respective classes in thought-provoking discussions centered around promoting diversity within the school and local community.
To consider their differences, students donned clothes representing causes they were personally interested in supporting. Such shirts ranged from Talk to Me or Everytown-themed designs to that of Reach Out Care Know (ROCK)/Stressed Out Stressed (SOS) and anti-bullying clubs.
Again, class discussions took place throughout the school day in students’ math and underclassmen physical education courses. Some reacted to ABC News’ “What Would You Do?” episodes, while others talked about gay marriage rights.
Wednesday was centered around school community-building as the student population celebrated its strengths with a Mix It Up event at lunch. Students from all four classes gathered together with members from their assigned color group and ate lunch together on the quad.
Simultaneously, Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) advisor Daisy Renazco handed out materials for Thursday’s Day of Silence. Further conversations were held in math and special education classes.
During the Day of Silence, students came together in support of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) population by taking a vow of silence in a demonstration of solidarity for many LGBTQ students’ inabilities to express their emotions. Due to their fears of discrimination, many of these students find themselves unable to speak freely of their sexual identities. At the end of the school day, the participants yelled out their pent-up feelings on the quad.
Those who did not directly participate were invited to wear black clothes, “Gay? Fine By Me” T-shirts, or rainbow ribbons.
Striving to embrace their differences, the week long demonstration of togetherness culminated with a Lyrical Love musical celebration on the quad featuring Andrea Allen, Sarah Clem, and Allyna Melville.
Students also headed out during their social studies classes to “dissolve” various stereotypes written on rice paper in a pool of water.
During the evening, a Friday Night Everytown session took place as a final conclusion to the NIOS Week’s various events.