“No Place For Hate” Makes Great Progress

Posted on October 17, 2011

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News | Nathan Kosmin

Several weeks ago, Springfield Township High School kicked off the year’s No Place For Hate campaign with a performance by motivational speaker/psychologist Dr. Michael Fowlin. Dr. Fowlin performed his famous “You Don’t Know Me Until You Know Me” show, combining anecdotes, poetry, and numerous impersonations to promote his message of tolerance. The show was the first of many events that will take place this year as STHS pursues its goal of becoming a No Place For Hate School.
If you’re a student at STHS, you’ve probably already heard about the No Place For Hate campaign. “Basically, being a No Place for Hate School means we would be recognized by the ADL, or Anti-Defamation League,” explains Assistant Principal Dr. Melanie-Jo McCarthy, one of the leading members of Springfield’s No Place For Hate team. The Anti-Defamation League is a national nonprofit organization that works against intolerance, racism, and hate in the U.S. and abroad.
To become an officially recognized as a No Place For Hate school, STHS will have to complete three major school-wide projects and submit them to a local representative of the Anti-Defamation League, along with written follow-up reports. Any of the events planned this year could be potential projects, from Dr.- Fowlin’s presentation, to the banner created by the Straight and Gay Alliance at the Activities Fair, to upcoming events such as Diversity Day. The same requirements must be fulfilled each year in order for the school to remain a No Place For Hate school, so you can expect No Place For Hate to become as much a part of the school as any club.
“My mission is to create a place where people can be respected and embraced for their differences…A place where what you look like, your race, your sexual orientation doesn’t matter…[and] there’s no doubt in my mind that we can do it” says Dr. McCarthy. At the No Place For Hate kickoff assembly, Dr. Fowlin expressed his hope that students wouldn’t consider his presentation “just another assembly” and would seriously think about the ideas he conveyed.
Over the past few weeks, Dr. Fowlin’s stories of zebras, pearls, Superman, and everyday people have had the chance to spread throughout the faculty and student body of Springfield Township High School. Students and staff agree, Dr. Fowlin’s show has had a definite effect on the Spartan community. Junior Mike Rambo relates, “It did have an impact on me.”
“I think the assembly went very well,” says Dr. McCarthy. “[I heard] students and staff talking about it that day, the next day, even up to today. I think it brought up issues we need to confront and I hope the discussions continue…people are actually talking and asking, ‘how can I get involved?’”
Junior Jordi Shuster agrees that the kick-off was a success. “I hadn’t expected it to be more than a stuffy guy in a suit, so it was pretty surprising. I’ve found that in a bunch of my classes, the teachers and even the kids are starting to put it into effect.”
With discussion spreading, Springfield’s No Place For Hate campaign figures to be a major part of the upcoming school year. As the year continues, more events will look to promote diversity and open dialogue in the school. Students interested in taking a more active role in No Place For Hate should contact Dr. McCarthy.

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