Thursday, April 15, 2010

RHS's Hands Are Not For Hate: Civic Responsibilty

Last week, several groups within our community were told that God hated them by a group of less than tolerant individuals from Kansas.  West Virginians were told that they were less than human due to sexual orientation, religious decisions, employment, gender, and any other 'difference' that one could muster up. 

The Covenant House in Charleston, WV organized a FLASH MOB and A Stop The Hate Rally on the Capitol steps the evening that the hate group was protesting diversity.  The rally was to promote diversity, difference, and focus energies and power on the positive rather than dwell in the  negative of the HATERS. 

Several Riverside High School students wanted to be a part of the experience.  In class and in the halls, students began to have a dialog about civic responsibilities and how it was their turn to stand up for what they believed was right.  Students held discussions about how turning a blind eye creates more harm than good.  They felt that it was their turn to stand up and say "Stop The Hate!"  They were kind enough to invite their teacher to join them, so I went joyfully!

As an educator and loyal supporter of diversity, I had a profound experience at the Capitol that evening.  I was impressed with how many individuals came to support The Covenant House and give a message of positivity to those that needed to hear it.  I was PROUD that 10th, 11th, and 12th grade students came out in the rain to stand up for something that they believed in.  I was PROUD that they understood the real meaning behind Civic Responsibility and followed through with their mission of sending a positive message.  It was fun.  It was heartwarming.  It was a proud moment.  It was a moment that none of them will forget. 

You can read one student's personal account of the rally on his blog post "Stop The Hate Rally."  Please, watch the videos that follow to see for yourself why some of the students opted to "Stop The Hate."

Cody, Riverside Student

Ashley, Riverside Student

Riverside High School Students Creating A Poster

Stop The Hate Flash Mob
Steps of WV Capitol
Charleston, WV
April 8, 2010

Author's Note: This post originally appeared on Chez's World of Globaloria: Where literature, language, and technology go hand in hand. All students in pictures and videos gave consent to be posted on the internet.


Nicole said...

I know this post is older (a year) but I live in the Joplin MO area and this same dumb group is headed here on Sunday. As you've probably heard Joplin was just hit by a Tornado this past sunday and mostly destroyed. This group is now happy that the death toll is 125 and says that God hates Joplin and our State. People are so on edge that there might be something bad happen, but I just stumbled across this and I loved that poster with the hands!

I'm The Chez said...

That group of people are so sickening. I can't imagine being that full of hate that you would feel the need to spewing it all over the place. They must seriously be miserable human beings.

I was very proud of my students that day when they stood up for their own beliefs and opened their hearts up. They made the poster with the hands.

I'm so sorry that your town has experienced so much devastation. It seems so unfair. My parents live in Kansas now and I become fearful anytime there is mention of tornadoes.

My thoughts and prayers are with you and yours.