Breaking Down the Walls: A Recap

“It’s hard to hate someone whose story you know.”


Bryce Carithers

Guest speaker, Stu Cabe, talking to the students of Peninsula High School.

Keira Dooley, Editor-In-Chief

Last month, the incredible program, Breaking Down the Walls, returned to Peninsula High School. On February 28 and March 1, students and teachers of all grades and backgrounds gathered in the main gym with guest speaker, Stu Cabe, to share their stories and come together as a community. One memorable activity from this event was Cross the Line, where students formed a line across the gym and faced the guest speaker, who asked a series of questions. Anyone who could answer yes to the question took a step forward. The activity started with simple questions like, do you have a driver’s license, but as it continued, the questions shifted focus to the different challenges we may face. Cross the Line reminds us that we only know what people share with us, and we may not be as alone as we sometimes feel. This activity isn’t to inform us about what people go through so we can treat them differently in the future. As Stu Cabe said, we shouldn’t wait until we know someone is suffering to be kind. Everyone is going through something, and understanding this simple truth will help us break down barriers to come together and support each other as a community. 

Breaking Down the Walls was a great experience, but it only visited our school on two days for a limited number of 400 students. How can the students who attended continue building on what we learned from Breaking Down the Walls to create a safe and inclusive environment here at PHS? Well, we can start by saying hello. Saying hi goes a long way, and if you want to take it further, you could ask how their day is going. Letting someone know you see and care about them helps them feel more welcome and included at school. Just imagine what it would be like if everyone started saying hi to each other. Something else we can do is step outside our comfort zone and talk to someone new. In this day and age, it can be scary to talk to people we don’t know. It’s so much easier to stick with the friends we already have, but as Stu Cabe reminded us, we wouldn’t have the friends we have if we were too afraid to talk to them when they were only strangers. One final thing we can do, and the most important thing we can do, is be kind. Being kind might mean choosing not to say something that could be hurtful, or it could mean going out of your way to let someone know you appreciate them. Everyone is going through something; even people who seem to have everything under control are fighting challenges they may not want to share. At Peninsula High School, we want people to feel safe and comfortable enough to be themselves without being judged or made fun of. Why not make school somewhere we enjoy being because of the people we’re surrounded by? High school is difficult for everyone, but if we start saying hello and being kind to each other, we can make it a better experience for ourselves and those around us. 


Breaking Down the Walls (HS). ignite2unite. Retrieved March 15, 2023, from