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An introduction to No Place for Hate

December 13, 2021

Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series exploring clubs and organizations for students at South Glens Falls Central School District.

For senior Vanessa Jorgensen, No Place for Hate is more than just an extracurricular activity; it is a way to learn more about issues in both her school and community.
It has broadened her understanding of the perspectives of those around her, and helped her to see how they perceive the world around them.
“I like hearing different perspectives about what’s different in our school. I see it a very certain way that is completely different from how someone else sees it,” she said. “I’ll read things which are all anonymous and think, ‘I could have never imagined that happening or this happening or why that would happen.’ But it’s nice to hear from other students.”
According to Jorgensen, No Place for Hate gives students a safe place to talk about any issues they see with the school atmosphere, whether it be staff, students, or just anything they want to change.
“We talk with staff and other students on ways to fix it or ways we might want to change that kind of atmosphere,” Jorgensen said.
No Place for Hate is part of a chapter of a group under the umbrella of the Anti-Defamation League.
“The goal is to promote inclusion, equity, anti-bias and anti-bullying within our school,” club advisor Alexandria Perry said.
Perry said students learn to recognize and combat bias and the impact that words can have on others.
“If they see something they don’t agree with, or they feel is not appropriate. They learn how to call that out in a respectful way. Whether it be pulling that person aside or going to teachers or administrators for help,” Perry said. “I think it helps empower them to stand up for what they believe in.”
Perry said meetings include discussions of ongoing events, reviews of school climate surveys, and planning activities.
Students also participate in and help plan several activities through the group. Last year, they took part in a walk against hate. They have overseen a survey about bullying and racism.
Last year, for example, No Place for Hate did a Day of Silence to represent the silencing effect people of color and those who are LGBTQ+ face daily.
No Place for Hate is currently in the planning stages of the 2021-22 offerings.
Perry said many students who take part in No Place for Hate are also participating in Restorative Justice or Student of Color Union, and she is seeing discussions of issues brought up in No Place for Hate there as well.
“I’m seeing more awareness of what is going on in the school and students finding their voice and speaking out about what they’re seeing and what needs to be addressed,” Perry said. “I think No Place for Hate gives them the space where they can do that.”
Jorgensen said she wants parents and the greater SGF community to know that No Place for Hate offers the school community a place to talk about issues within the district and the community at large.
“There’s somebody in the community actively trying to make our school environment a better place,” she said.
Jorgensen said the club is open and welcoming to any high school students. She said students can come and contribute what they can or want, with no expectations.
“I’d say there’s no reason not to join. It’s a very low-key, chill club,” she said. “But you know, we just like hearing other students’ perspectives,” she said. “You contribute what you can, and if you can’t, that’s fine.”
For Perry, the club allows her to hear student perspectives – especially those she might not otherwise get input from.
“This is an opportunity to meet with students who I wouldn’t normally meet and get perspectives from groups that I might not hear from otherwise,” Perry said.
No Place for Hate meets every Thursday after school. Students can find more information on their School Tool or by contacting Ms. Perry.

Category: District News, SGFalls HS News