Easthampton High School Students and Staff Pledge to Think Before They Speak

Miles Ellsworth, Journalist

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In December, the students and staff at Easthampton High School signed a pledge promising as a community to think before they speak. The pledge took place during the second annual EHS Diversity Day. Participants signed a large poster and in return received a bracelet reading “I Pledge to Think Before I Speak” and “Words Can Hurt”. The pledge drew support from all grade levels, along with dozens of staff members. The poster is currently hanging up in the school.

The pledge was created by the EHS Diversity Club and EHS SPIRIT (Student Problem Identification and Resolution of Issues Together) Council. The pledge was part of the goals of SPIRIT Council and the school administration to build school community, create a positive school climate, and discourage the use of words that can be considered hurtful, insensitive, or offensive. In the past couple of years, both SPIRIT Council and the administration have made it a priority to educate against the use of hate speech, microaggressions and other unacceptable language.

SPIRIT Council is a school government body consisting of students, a teacher, the student resource officer, the principal, and the diversity inclusion liaison. They regularly meet to discuss creative solutions to related schoolwide problems, and ways to cultivate an inclusive and welcoming school culture. This pledge is just the latest in a number of recent strides taken by SPIRIT Council, Diversity Club, and the administration to achieve these visions.

In the not too distant future, the Easthampton Public School District will be launching an app for mobile phones where students will be able to report incidents to school administrations. The app was shown to the SPIRIT Council this past December, and could be rolled out within the coming months all across the district. SPIRIT Council is also looking to build on the positive momentum and energy from the pledge by planning fun, interactive, and enjoyable advisory activities.

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Easthampton High School Students and Staff Pledge to Think Before They Speak