HomeCherry Hill NewsThree Cherry Hill schools receive No Place For Hate designation

Three Cherry Hill schools receive No Place For Hate designation

On Friday, June 5, the students and faculty at Cherry Hill High School West, Cherry Hill Alternative High School and Joyce Kilmer Elementary School celebrated the schools’ designations as No Place for Hate, having completed a year of anti-bias and anti-bullying programs.

To earn this distinction, each school formed a No Place for Hate committee, adopted a resolution pledging to create a more inclusive school, and implemented a number of projects promoting respect for differences.

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To kick off Respect Week at Cherry Hill High School West, the students in the Actor’s

Studio class wrote, directed and performed for the entire school a play about the dangers of cyberbullying. For their second project, Quotes of Pride, students in their homerooms had the opportunity to compete to have their anti-bullying quote of pride permanently displayed in the school. In addition to the top quotes being selected, posters, post cards, bookmarks, and signs with other quotes were displayed throughout the building. For their final project, Don’t Call Me Names Poetry Contest, students engaged in mini-lessons regarding the impact of name-calling and were then given the opportunity to write poetry about the dangers of name-calling, with the winning poems published in the school newspaper.

Projects completed this year at Cherry Hill Alternative High School include lessons and a mural called “Challenging Diversity”, which depicts famous individuals who have challenged bias and bigotry. The mural spans a wall of the school and includes depictions of historical figures such as Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr., as well as current anti-bias heroes like Malala Yousafzai. In “Understanding Who We Are”, their second project, students used the ADL‟s Pyramid of Hate to discuss examples of bias they have been the targets of and to learn about each other’s unique qualities. They finished up by creating pennants representing who they are. For their final project, they started by studying the history of Mount Peace Cemetery, one of New Jersey’s largest historical African American cemeteries. They learned about the cemetery to explore the history of racism in New Jersey, read biographies of African Americans interred at the site, and explored past and present struggles to upkeep the cemetery. After the lessons, students reinforced their learning by visiting and caring for neglected parts of Mount Peace Cemetery, and then wrote reflections about the experience.

Joyce Kilmer Elementary School began the year participating in the NJ Week of Respect, which focused on activities that helped define respect, including group presentations, readings and lessons on bullying and name-calling, as well as a number of fun dress up days to help explore respect for differences in the school. For their second project, students participated in No Name-Calling Week, to increase awareness of the difference between playful teasing and bullying. Individual classroom lessons on name-calling using resources found at GLSEN.com, daily affirmations of making the right choice when faced with difficult friendship situations, and a discussion of “put down” words and “put ups” words were all used to create a building-wide display. For their final project, the school held a Peace Day, with the goal of teaching students that peace begins with them and that they are peace ambassadors that can change the climate of the school community.

This is the second year that Cherry Hill High School West will receive its designation

banner, the third year for Cherry Hill Alternative High School and the fifth year for

Joyce Kilmer. The schools are part of more than 220 schools across eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware currently participating in the No Place for Hate program, following Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell’s endorsement in 2006. Joyce Kilmer Elementary School was the first school to be designated No Place for Hate in New Jersey.


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