Changing habits can be tough for anyone, but students at Taft Middle School chose to break out of their comfort zones and “Mix It Up” at lunch to bring attention to the epidemic of bullying.
participated in a nationwide “Mix It Up at Lunch Day” activity Nov. 18
where they were asked to sit in a different place and with different
individuals than they typically do at lunchtime. This national campaign,
launched by the organization Teaching Tolerance a decade ago,
encourages students to identify, question, and cross social boundaries.
Middle School’s lunch court was rearranged and specially decorated for
the event. Every student was randomly grouped using colorful wristbands
with letters to identify which group they would sit with at lunch.
Students got their lunch and joined their assigned table, each having a
student leader/facilitator, and were encouraged to engage in
conversations with those at their table to discover what they had in
common with one another. The event concluded with music and group dances
like the Macarena, Cupid Shuffle, and Y.M.C.A.
“This is one of
the many ways Taft Middle School is trying to address the epidemic of
bullying,” said Principal Mike George. “It was truly an amazing sight to
see our students “Mix It Up.”
For several days leading up to the
lunchtime event, students were involved in lessons during their first
period classes that fostered thinking about concepts such as
differences/similarities, isolation, prejudice and “isms,” among other
topics. According to Teaching Tolerance, studies have shown that
interactions across group lines can help reduce prejudice. When students
interact with those who are different from them, biases and
misperceptions can fall away.
The event was sponsored by the PBIS committee and ASB.
For additional information, contact Vice Principal Lynn Ryan at 858-496-8245 or email@example.com.