Discussing our differences

Wednesday’s extended second hour was dedicated to examining the importance of diversity in our school and community

Although today was not an early release, the day’s schedule was still a bit different than usual.  Second hour was extended by nearly forty minutes to accommodate a discussion with students about diversity. Classes during the remainder of the school day were consequently shortened as a result of the modified second period.

In past years, extended second hours have consisted of powerpoints and videos examining the impacts of bullying and drug use.This year, administrators chose to select diversity as the topic of discussion. With February being Black History Month, members of Breakdown FHC decided the timing of the presentation would be appropriate.

Principal Brian Warner explained that diversity has been one of the main focuses of our school this year. With building dynamics changing every year, Mr. Warner believes it is important to acknowledge and discuss differences among the student body.

“We would like to not only get a picture of what diversity means to students here at FHC, but also a bigger picture of how it changes as we expand out to the community around us,” Mr. Warner said.

The extended second hour focusing on diversity included a video and PowerPoint presentation. The 16 minute video, created by the FHC Publications class, consisted of several students sharing what the concept of diversity personally means to them. The student body was able to hear from their peers what it means to be diverse, and also how life would be different without diversity. In addition to the video, a PowerPoint was shown to examine the many ways through which we are exposed to the topic of diversity in mainstream society. It was shown that messages about diversity are evident in everything around us from the images we see to the lyrics we hear. Because it is so common in our everyday lives, Mr. Warner believes the issue of diversity is often overlooked.

“Sometimes, we become immune to all the stuff that goes on around us,” Mr. Warner said. “We don’t want to continue to overlook these issues, and that’s why we’re trying to bring awareness to some of these topics.”

The presentation was followed by a discussion with students about the presence of diversity in our community. The overall purpose of the experience was to allow students to gain a better understanding of the differences of others around them. Additional discussions throughout the rest of the year, mainly during the several weeks of EOC testing, will continue to build off of this topic of diversity.

A wide variety of other activities that aim to celebrate diversity have also been organized to take place later this month. The Diversity Club has planned multiple spirit days for the week of Monday, Feb. 24 which will conclude with Mix-It-Up at lunch. During sixth and seventh hours on Friday, Feb. 28, teachers will also have the option to take their students down to the auditorium to watch the SLAM poets perform. Throughout the month of February, the daily announcements will additionally feature a different quote about diversity each morning.