Diversity Assembly

Aislinn O'Reilly, Reporter

On February 1st, 2019, an assembly was held so that students and staff members could come together and celebrate the diversity in schools. The assembly featured an original poem read by Zeporah Payne, a choir performance with a powerful message, a speech from Mr. Heidelberg, and other student presentations.

The assembly’s message impacted many students and challenged their perceptions on other people. Students not only learned more about accepting each others differences, but they learned to love themselves and embrace what makes them unique. Ashley Hammel, a freshman, said that the assembly taught her “to love and respect everyone no matter how different they are from you.”

Student Zeporah Payne’s poem spread the message of self love and explained how she embraces her diversity and her differences. She started off by describing the struggles of her everyday life, but ended by explaining why those struggles make her who she is.

Mr. Heidelberg was also able to speak about his personal experiences. He gave a speech where he recalled struggles that he and his father faced. Mr. Heidelberg shared that even at a very diverse school, he was still picked on for the color of his skin. He said that in his generation, his peers would discriminate him to his face. But in this generation, teens and young adults spread hateful messages about each other through social media.

The message on cyberbullying was very important, and student Chloe Lee explained that “cyberbullying fit with the messages about diversity because people may post or talk about the negative or untrue comments about people from a different race or make fun of them.” No form of bullying or discrimination is acceptable, but Mr. Heidelberg suggests that we use social media to lift each other up rather than put each other down.

The choir’s performance carried a message about online bullying as well. Rachel McCurrie, a freshman who attended the assembly, said that the song “was a good visual example to wrap up what the assembly was about.” Although the song was sang in Russian, students were able to understand the message due to the theatrical performance that came with it. The story that was told was about a boy and a girl who started a relationship. The boy spread rumors about the girl, then both of their friends saw them and shared them. The girl was very hurt. This happens all the time in the teen community, and the performance expressed that words on social media can be just as harmful as words in person.

Diversity is a very important topic for students to learn about. Teens must to tolerate and appreciate each other’s differences and learn not to discriminate. Not only do teenagers need to recognize their peer’s differences, but they also need to learn to embrace their own special qualities and recognize that they are all unique.