PCHS students ‘Mix It Up’ at lunch
Published 4:00 am Wednesday, October 28, 2015
The Southern Poverty Law Center has designated Pike County High School as a focus school for teaching tolerance.
Sharon Sullivan, PCHS counselor, said being selected as a focus school is an honor and is also validation that PCHS is working diligently to teach and model tolerance. As a focus school, PCHS participates in the Mix It Up at Lunch Model School program which
embraces respect and inclusiveness as core values. At PCHS, they “mix it up” all year long, Sullivan said.
PCHS continued its commitment to teaching and practicing tolerance Tuesday by participating, once again, in the Mix It Up Model School Lunch Day with a program in the school cafeteria.
The program included a dramatization and a sing-along.
Tori Wentland, Jalin Wheeler, Morgan Grissette and Brianna Foster presented a short skirt that highlighted the need for and importance of tolerance.
“You don’t ever know what someone is going through and how what you say or do may affect them,” Wheeler said. “Words can hurt you and they are hurting a lot young people these days. A lot of students worry about the way they look and what they wear. Some students aren’t making good grades and they want to be successful but feel like they are not. A lot of students are unhappy inside.”
And, it’s these students who are “unhappy inside” that are bullied the most.
The students said that bullying is going on in all schools and their school is not immune.
“Students are bullied in a lot of ways,” Foster said. “Sometimes they are called names and mean things are said about them. Even things are told on them that aren’t true. Bullying is anything that is said or done to make a person feel bad about themselves.”
Wentland said bullying is mean and hateful but almost as bad is standing back and not taking up for those who are being bullied.
“If you just stand back and do nothing, you are bullying, just in a different way,” she said.
The students said what all students want, whether they admit it or not, is to fit in.
“And, if you don’t fit in with the styles or the places people go or the things they do, then you are probably going to get bullied,” Grissette said. “I used to get bullied but I learned not to let it bother me. I stand up for myself and that makes a difference.”
The students said it’s important to get involved when bullying is going on and speak up and stand up for the victims.
“Social media is responsible for a lot of the bullying that is going on because you can say hurtful things without anyone knowing who you are or why those things are being said,” Wentland said. “There’s no reason to hurt anyone because they are different from you in any way. What we can do to help stop bullying is to stand up and speak up. That’s the right thing to do.”
The program ended with choral director Roy Hoobler and several students leading, “Lean on Me” by Bill Withers, which, the students said, could be the theme song for students who are willing to “mix it up” every day.