HBT Students Setting the Example

HBT Students Setting the Example photo
HBT Students Setting the Example photo 2
Forty-five members of Peers as Leaders and the Buddy Club at Harry B. Thompson Middle School are strengthening their reach as role models to make a greater impact on their school. The students underwent two days of in-school training by representatives of the Anti-Defamation League through the World of Difference program, to understand and address the challenges faced by students of all backgrounds. 

During the sessions, held in the middle school library, students conversed, role-played and participated in different exercises to gain a greater appreciation for diversity, while making new connections and identifying similarities in each other that may not have been obvious before. They are now using what they learned to embed acceptance into the culture of the school. This includes encouraging others to speak up and stand up to bullying behavior.

“I think this is truly unique and amazing that we are given the time to do this,” said eighth-grader Aanya Bedi, who is embracing her role as an ally to classmates in need of peer support. “I am having a great time learning about everyone. This is great training.”

Through Peers as Leaders and the Buddy Club, co-advised by Randi Bloom and Alison deLauzon, many of the students have already solidified their statures as ambassadors.  Members have assisted incoming fifth-graders and newly arriving sixth-graders, helped to promote and coordinate Red Ribbon Week activities and overall, have served as upstanding voices for the silent student minority who may feel alone or in need of friendly encouragement. The Anti-Defamation League training is also helping to reinforce the middle school’s designation as a No Place for Hate School, an annual honor awarded by the league that was bestowed upon the school last spring for its efforts to promote multiculturalism and thwart bullying, including cyberbullying.

The Anti-Defamation League will announce its No Place for Hate Schools for 2018 later this spring. Stay tuned!

Representatives of the Peers as Leaders and the Buddy Club are joined by their advisers Randi Bloom (middle row, second from left) and Alison deLauzon (back row, second from right) and Anti-Defamation League representatives Jane Pashman (middle row, far left) and Shanelle Henry (back row, far right) during their two-day World of Difference training.