Student Government’s No Place For Hate Initiative: Stomping Out Hate, One Signature at a Time


Alexander Voses

In 2015, South High decided to become a “No Place for Hate School.” Now, six years and a global pandemic later, Student Government and the Anti-Defamation League are teaming up to have our school join thousands of other schools as a “No Place for Hate School”again. Through this campaign, Student Government hopes to welcome students back (in person) to an environment that is respectful to and welcoming of all.

Our school’s choice to become a “No Place for Hate School’’ was mainly driven by our Student Government board members: President Rosanna Gao, Vice-President Joy Yang, Secretary Sarah Hao, and Treasurer Chloe Chan. According to Ms. Jane Callaghan, one of the co-advisors of Student Government, from their very first meeting after the student government elections, the board members “wanted to do something to send that message that we’re all here together [since] the world became a little more divisive during the pandemic. They wanted to do this to make sure that every student felt welcomed, respected, and supported.” They ultimately decided that becoming a “No Place for Hate School” would be the best way to pursue the goal of cultivating a “culture of respect” at our school that is conducive to learning for all.

This message of welcoming, respect, and support is also reflected in the slogan accompanying this campaign: “Be kind, be caring, be compassionate.” Mrs. Bridget Forie, the other co-advisor of Student Government, said she hopes that students will “remember and reconnect” by embracing this slogan that showcases the message of unity for our school. “Everyone’s a part of it [this initiative]. It’s not just a student thing; it’s all of us,” Mrs. Forie noted.

Throughout the year, Student Government hopes to engage all students, faculty, and clubs in this initiative. From reaching out to different departments about anti-hate ideas to including specific anti-bullying lessons in Health classes, the No Place for Hate initiative is trying to tap into our school’s existing forms of connection inside and outside of the classroom. In the future, students can look forward to varied activities throughout the year similar to Coming Out Day and the pledge signing, which took place earlier this school year. “It’s about creating conversations and making people aware,” Mrs. Forie affirmed. Student Government believes that the more people involved in this initiative, the more successful it will ultimately be.

One final key message that Student Government wants our school community to take away from this No Place for Hate campaign is that it is not meant to end when our school is certified as a No Place for Hate School. Student Government hopes that it will serve to bring our school together after a time of immense isolation. By maintaining an atmosphere where everyone remembers to be kind, caring, and compassionate, they believe our school can truly embrace its inherent care and consideration for all.