LUSBY, Md. — On March 30, 2022, Patuxent High School students spent the day watching movies that encouraged kindness, understanding, and helping others see things from new perspectives.
This school-wide activity was put together as an opportunity for the school to earn the “No Place For Hate” designation, which is provided by the Anti-Defamation League. Windy Hill Middle and Patuxent Appeal Elementary also took part in the program, partaking in different activities.
The activity had to come from a student-run committee. The students that were a part of the committee decided that movies were the best way for people to understand and experience perspectives differently.
There were over 20 different films shown, and every student had the choice of which movie they wanted to see. Snacks and drinks were provided and donated by parents and people around the community.
Movies such as Remember the Titans, Invictus, A League of Their Own, Wonder, I am Sam, SuperDeafy, The Blindside, The Freedom Riders, and many other movies revolving around many different topics were shown.
At the end of each film, students were asked to fill out a reflection that asked them what they learned from the film, and how it changed or added to their perspectives on what other people’s experiences can be like.
“To me, it means that the school is committed to trying to keep everyone’s personalities, experiences, and opinions valued,” Wrenn Heisler, the advisor for the student committee, said. “We work with teenagers so nothing is ever going to be perfect, but we have a diverse student body and everybody has different things that they’re going through… I think what it means if the school gets the designation is that we will do a school-wide activity every year. So we’ll keep Patuxent focused on hearing student voices, which is really important, and I think it’s also important that those school-wide activities will come from student leaders who are designing them.”
Students had to take the lead by getting everything organized for the day.
“They actually got the kids quieted down, gave a little intro about why we’re doing this. Now they’re in there passing out the snacks and things that I thought the teachers would do, but the kids wanted to, so they’re really stepping up,” Heisler said.
The No Place For Hate group is just getting started at Patuxent High School, and the students and staff have said they hope that more activities like this will not just make an impact on-campus but in the community.
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