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People Join Together on Day Without Hate

Students+from+Jeffco+unite+through+music+at+Green+Mountain+High+School.+by+Nevaeh+Valtierra
Students from Jeffco unite through music at Green Mountain High School. by Nevaeh Valtierra

Students from Jeffco unite through music at Green Mountain High School. by Nevaeh Valtierra

Students from Jeffco unite through music at Green Mountain High School. by Nevaeh Valtierra

Nevaeh Valtierra, Staff Writer

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Day Without Hate is a student-led movement that brings unity, respect, and nonviolence to schools.

It began ten years ago in 2007, after the Virginia Tech shooting took place. Students at Standley Lake High School asked their classmates to wear white to show commitment and trust to make their school a safer place. After that, they wanted to spread the Day Without Hate to other schools. Over time, the movement spread.

Mike Schmidt, a math teacher here at Wheat Ridge High School, said he became involved with Day Without Hate when he was in charge of senate and a student of the class heard about it.

“It’s really just a time to show compassion and peace even though there are so many differences in the world. It’s a time to come together to promote peace. Some people question ‘Why is it just a day? Shouldn’t we be promoting this message everyday?’ but we should think of Day Without Hate as more of a movement and a reminder to practice showing unity and peace throughout the year,” said Schmidt.

Wheat Ridge High School celebrated Day Without Hate on April 28. Students all around the school promoted the day by wearing Day Without Hate shirts. Ben Reed, the founder of Day Without Hate, spoke to Wheat Ridge students Friday at the prom assembly, giving some questions that helped students think a little more about what the day means to them. Later that Friday, Green Mountain High School held a rally in their gym for Jeffco students. There were food trucks serving food at the high school from 6p.m. to 7p.m. and then at 7p.m. the rally began.

The rally started off with a dance party. Once the gym began to fill up, a teacher from Standley Lake High School spoke on what Day Without Hate is and gave special thanks to teachers and other adults who support Day Without Hate. Students from multiple high schools gave a dance performance, jump roping performance, and multiple singing performances. A student also performed his powerful slam poem. His ending line that defined the goal of Day Without Hate was, “Make this Day Without Hate a battle cry for a world without hate, so it’s no longer DWOH and simply just WO.”

The poem was a powerful message, but things continued to intensify when a Columbine victim, Lauren Townsend’s father, Rick Townsend spoke on how important it is to promote nonviolence in schools. He gave us insight on what it’s like to lose someone to school violence. He also opened our eyes to all of those who were touched by the Columbine shooting.

“Many of these people were impacted, traumatized and emotionally scarred and all of us lost something we could never get back and it makes me really sad. What’s really sad though, is that it keeps happening again and again,” said Townsend.

Day Without Hate is a movement to prevent violence in school, and it’s a reminder to spread peace and not hate. Day Without Hate, however, means multiple things to different people. A video was shown at the rally that gave the audience awareness on the difficulties the LGBT community faces in high school and at home. Another reminder to be accepting of our peers.

There were plenty of heavy and powerful moments at the rally that gave everyone a better understanding of the true meaning of the Day Without Hate movement. The night ended in another dance party and a new unity between the crowd. 

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People Join Together on Day Without Hate