No Place for Hate® empowers students to create inclusive school environments
Posted on 05/24/2019
Students and staff with No Place For Hate Banners

No Place for Hate® is one of the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) signature education initiatives with more than 1,700 schools across the country joining the movement. Since No Place for Hate® launched in January 2016, more than 20 schools in Prince William County have participated in the initiative, empowering students, staff, and family members to promote positive school climates and take a stand against hate and bullying.

ADL’s Washington, DC Regional Office recently hosted its third annual No Place for Hate® Recognition Ceremony. This event celebrates the dozens of schools throughout the region that have partnered with ADL to spread messages of respect and inclusion throughout their communities. Among these honorees were seven Prince William County Schools: Ellis Elementary School, Gainesville Middle School, Minnieville Elementary School, Rockledge Elementary School, Reagan Middle School, Stonewall Jackson High School and Tyler Elementary.

The ceremony was held at the Howard Theatre in Washington, DC and featured displays and presentations of the anti-bias activities schools organized to obtain their No Place for Hate® designation.

    A closer look at two No Place for Hate® schools in PWCS:

    J.W. Alvey Elementary, who began their No Place for Hate® journey in 2017, and Minnieville Elementary, who came on board this school year, are two schools creating transformational change so that all students feel welcomed, included, and a part of something positive at their schools.

    Two boys smile with lunch tray behind them.

    To launch their No Place for Hate® campaign, Alvey School Counselor and program coordinator Anne Henry led the formation of the MOSAIC (Multicultural Organization of Students Allied to Impact Culture). This student leadership league consists of 20 fifth-grade students who serve as mediators, ambassadors, and a force for acceptance and positive change. The team is involved in coordinating school-wide service programs such as Operation Turkey, SHINE Kindness Buckets, Hygiene Kits for the Unhoused, and Mix it Up at Lunch Day, a very successful activity bringing students with differing abilities together and encouraging empathy and promoting diversity appreciation.

    Students holding hands in a line laughing

    “We evaluated the program in the spring of 2018 and found that focus groups of K-5 students had positive perceptions of No Place for Hate® activities,” shared Henry. “We also saw a 12 percent decrease in behavioral referrals from the previous year.”

    Teacher opens bag for young student as older student helps

    Minnieville Elementary kicked off their No Place for Hate® Initiative this fall with a school-wide reading and discussion of the book “Each Kindness” by Jaqueline Woodson. Their first project required students to create “Stand Up to Bullying Monsters” as part of their annual Monster Mash event. Students could use any materials they wanted to create their monsters and the only requirements were that the monster must STAND UP and display a positive message.

    Student projects were displayed in The Hall of Monsters, and on Monster Mash evening, family members toured the Hall, learned more about the No Place for Hate® initiative and signed the promise. The success of the event earned Minnieville the "School Spotlight" in the ADL monthly regional newsletter.

    Another No Place for Hate® event at Minnieville involved teaching students the importance of activism. Students created a video presentation about "Soaring for Justice" and using their voice for change and improvement.

    “Our entire school community has embraced our No Place for Hate® Initiative and we make an intentional effort to include the promise in all of our school activities,” commented Assistant Principal Deborah Ellis. “The fact that No Place for Hate® is a framework for combating bias, bullying and hatred where all students have a place where they belong sold the program for me. It's what we want for each one of our students."

    Prince William County Public Schools with No Place for Hate® initiatives include:

    • Rockledge ES
    • Brentsville District HS
    • JW Alvey ES
    • Bull Run MS
    • Stonewall Jackson HS
    • Minnieville ES
    • Potomac Senior HS
    • Parkside Middle Cambridge International School
    • Ronald Reagan Middle School
    • Potomac Middle School
    • Ellis Elementary School
    • Marshall Elementary School
    • Occoquan Elementary School
    • Gainesville Middle School
    • Tyler Elementary School
    • Buckland Mills Elementary School
    • Bristow Run Elementary School
    • Independence Non-Traditional School
    • Lake Ridge Middle School
    • Chris Yung Elementary School

    Any school is welcome to pursue a designation as No Place for Hate® site. The school first forms an advisory committee of students, staff and family members who evaluates the needs of the school community. Next comes the signing of the Resolution of Respect in middle and high schools or the No Place for Hate Promise in elementary schools. To achieve full designation and receive the No Place for Hate® banner, the school is required to plan and hold at least three activities per year that recognize differences and promote kindness and respect.

    To learn more about how your school can become designated No Place for Hate®, please contact Supervisor of Student Assistance and Prevention Programs Richmond Hill in the PWCS Office of Student Services.