their students about hate and intolerance? After seven high school
students assaulted and killed Ecuadorean immigrant Marcelo Lucero in Patchogue, NY, local educators were shocked that this could happen in
their town. At South Ocean Middle School, Principal Linda Pickford wanted
to create a safe environment where her students could express their
feelings about the tragedy, and share their ideas about diversity,
immigration, inclusion and respect.
When Patchogue Mayor Paul Pontieri suggested that Principal Pickford
host an art exhibit called “Embracing Our Differences,” she agreed that
art was a great medium to explore these important issues, and she
mounted the collection of banners on the front lawn of her school.
"Embracing Our Differences" is a project of the Suffolk Center on the Holocaust, Diversity and Human Understanding. Executive Director Steve Schrier said the exhibit "started off with an art competition which immediately enabled teachers the ability to bring into the classroom the conversation about diversity, human rights, and social justice."
If you are a teacher or school administrator, be sure to check out the Not In Our School section for more resources and examples of how schools have creatively led student-driven projects to celebrate diversity and discuss hate violence.
How have schools and teachers in your community utilized art to talk about hate and intolerance? Share your story below so we can all learn from each other.