Cohoes High School and Cohoes Middle School earned a ‘No Place for Hate’ designation for the 2019-20 academic year. This is the fourth consecutive year the high school was recognized. It is a first for the middle school, which implemented the program at the beginning of the school year.
“I’m proud of the participation we had and the enthusiasm the kids had to spread a positive message,” program co-coordinator Kayla Cole said.
According to Cole, about 20-30 CMS students attended the meetings, which focused on coordinating anti-bias and diversity activities throughout the year.
“One of the things we talked about in the beginning was, what does ‘No Place for Hate’ mean? The kids came up with this idea that it doesn’t take much energy just to be nice, and that was our main message,” she said.
In addition to forming a committee, all students, teachers and staff at each school must also sign the No Place for Hate pledge, as well as have the opportunity to participate in three Anti-Defamation League-approved school activities that “address bias and bullying and promote diversity and inclusion through discussion, active learning, and reflection.”
Upon completion of the program, schools are typically sent a customized banner designating them as No Place for Hate. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, digital banners were sent this year.
“We didn’t get to finish the year the way we wanted to, but getting the banner validates the kids’ hard work and dedication,” Cole added.