The Coronado Unified School District (CUSD) has joined the national program, No Place for Hate, to combat bias and bullying in schools. No Place for Hate is an educational program of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) that helps schools build a learning community of inclusivity, respect, and equity.
Over 1,600 schools across the United States have adopted the No Place for Hate program. 76 schools in San Diego County have adopted this program in the past year. CUSD Equity Coordinator, Niamh Foley, announced, “CUSD has joined other San Diego districts in utilizing this [No Place for Hate] framework to ensure all students feel safe, valued, and respected in their school environments.”
Coronado Middle School counselor Brian Garcia shared his goals for bringing the No Place for Hate program to Coronado, “We would like to have a shift in student mentality by bringing awareness to the issues of bullying and bias. We want students to see that they are integral in reducing bullying and bias and by being upstanders and not bystanders.”
The Coronado School District signed up for the No Place for Hate program in July 2020 to be implemented at all four CUSD schools: Village Elementary, Silver Strand Elementary, Coronado Middle School, and Coronado High School. This fall, each Coronado school started the program which follows a four phase approach:
- Form a committee of diverse students, teachers, staff, and parents
- Sign the No Place for Hate pledge
- Assess the school climate through a campus-wide survey
- Implement activities to develop effective student and staff allies
As part of phase one, Coronado schools solicited student, parent, and teacher volunteers to form their No Place for Hate committees. The Silver Strand Elementary committee has 27 4th and 5th grade students plus parents and staff that have met three times so far and plan to continue meeting regularly. The Village Elementary committee has 15 students, 4 parents, and a few staff members that started monthly meetings in November 2020. Coronado Middle School recently held their first committee meeting after identifying the committee members. Coronado High School’s committee is led by Principal Schmeichel with five high school student members.
The second step in the program is for all students to sign the No Place for Hate pledge. The pledge is a public commitment to challenge bias and bullying.
I Promise to do my best to treat everyone fairly.
I Promise to do my best to be kind to everyone-even if they are not like me.
If I see someone being hurt or bullied, I will tell a teacher.
Everyone should be able to feel safe and happy in school.
I want our school to be No Place for Hate.
The signed pledge must be displayed in a public place where all signees are reminded of their commitment. Every member of Silver Strand Elementary School has signed the pledge, and it has been placed in the library windows at the front of the school for everyone to see.
The third step of the No Place for the Hate program is to assess the school’s climate to make sure every person’s voice is heard. The Anti Defamation League provides sample climate assessment surveys that can be customized based on a school’s specific interests or issues. Results of the survey should be used to identify areas of need and to develop a plan for the school’s activities.
The fourth step of No Place for Hate is to implement activities that will inspire members of the school community to become active allies. Lesson plans, discussions, and infographics are just a few examples of possible activities. Silver Strand Elementary has already implemented several No Place for Hate activities including making weekly video updates for Principal Moore’s Friday Flagpole videos. The school is additionally in the process of creating a Unity Tree decorated with leaves where each student writes something that makes them unique. Over the Thanksgiving break, Silver Strand decorated 125 canvas bags for food distribution to families at the Monarch School. Silver Stand is currently working on an emoji Unity Lounge which will feature a diverse library of books.
Coronado schools are just beginning to implement the No Place for Hate program that will help CUSD become a more safe and equitable place for everyone in the school community. Students or parents that are interested in participating in No Place for Hate should contact their school principal for more detailed information.