Education

Franklin Township Students Pledge to Stand Up for the Other

0474f6eb48421394dce5_DSC_1016.jpg
Franklin Park School students "Stand Up for the Other" Credits: Malik Lyons
9833e3367607964415d6_DSC_0978.jpg
Franklin Park School students "Stand Up for the Other" Credits: Malik Lyons
ce86734853cabf9ecaa5_DSC_0980.jpg
Franklin Park School students "Stand Up for the Other" Credits: Malik Lyons
7974ca0a861535189eda_DSC_0997.jpg
Franklin Park School students "Stand Up for the Other" Credits: Malik Lyons
ea222199bbf4413a43d1_DSC_1015.jpg
Franklin Park School students "Stand Up for the Other" Credits: Malik Lyons
ee62da0e18b6a805a97c_DSC_1016.jpg
Franklin Park School students "Stand Up for the Other" Credits: Malik Lyons
3a79e026bc3ca5c71494_DSC_1027.jpg
Dr. Alex Kharazi, Dr. Ali Chaudry, Foday Mansaray, and Charles Onyejiaka Credits: Malik Lyons
aa150da9df880fd34e4a_DSC_1033.jpg
Dr. Alex Kharazi, Dr. John Ravally, Nicole Sury, Dr. Ali Chaudry, Ed Potasnak, and Purvi Shah Credits: Malik Lyons
87368d8d519b8eb2cb73_DSC_1041.JPG

FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, NJ - Close to 7,000 Franklin Township public school students joined together to take the "Stand Up for the Other" pledge on a day many people associate with love, Valentine's day.

The "Stand Up for the Other Pledge" was proposed by Co-Founder of the New Jersey Interfaith Coalition Dr. Ali Chaudry in March of 2015, and was formally launched in November 2015. Chaudry and President of the Franklin Township Interfaith Council Dr. Alex Kharazi have been promoting the pledge throughout the state.

The district is the first in the state to take the pledge and by doing so joined the New Jersey State Senators, Assembly members, NJ Attorney General, and the Franklin Township Council. Over 500 hundred members of Franklin Township's community also took the pledge at last months MLK community breakfast. 

Sign Up for E-News

"I think it is especially fitting that our Franklin students took this pledge on Valentine’s Day and during Black History Month,” Dr. Kharazi said.   

“Franklin Township Public Schools prides itself on our diversity.  We have students who report over 65 different languages as their home language. We were honored that the NJ Department of Education has recognized our Elementary ESL & Bilingual Program as well as our High School ESL program by awarding us "model program" status.  

"We often hear from our graduates that attending school in such a diverse environment has helped them interact with others as adults. So when we heard about the “Stand Up for the Other” Pledge, we knew our Franklin Township Public School families would embrace it,” Superintendent Dr. John A. Ravally said in a statement released last week.  

Franklin Park School was one of the district's nine schools that held events to take the pledge together. Kindergartners at the school formed a giant heart in the school's gym and passed a small red heart to one another and said: "I will stand up for you." Fourth Graders gathered in the school's cafeteria and recited the pledge with staff, and some students shared what the pledge means to them to their fellow students. 

"The program was introduced to me at the Martin Luther King Breakfast," Franklin Park School Principal Nicol Sury said. "It received such a positive reception at that forum... It just seemed like it would have a really good fit at the elementary [school] level, so under Dr. Ravally's leadership, he suggested we find a way to make it work for elementary aged children. 

"We are very fortunate here that we have a very strong character education program as well as a positive behavior support program, where we stand under pillars of respect, responsibility, caring, and safety, so this pledge really kind of ties all these threads together." 

First Graders also lined up in a hallway and stood together to take the pledge holding up artwork expressing what the pledge means to them. One of the most popular signs was one of a sneaker designed to show why they should stand up for each other. 

"We were trying to come up with different ideas to share with the staff because we wanted them to make it their own," Franklin Park Assistant Principal Purvi Shah said. "We came up with the sneaker, because we are taking a stand and we incorporated the stand up for the other image, and now they are hanging around the school and I love it."

Councilman Charles Onyejiaka (Ward 3), Superintendent Dr. John Ravally, Board of Education President Ed Potosnak, District Policy Coordinator Mary Clark, Board of Education president Ed Potosnak, Chairman of the Human Relations Commission Gary Rosenthal, and the Head of the West African Community Foundation Foday Mansaray were also in attendance. 

"It is a privilege to be part of this history because I am an immigrant," said Onyejiaka. "I have to stand against bigotry, I have to stand against defamation, I have to stand against any for of discrimination against individuals, that is why I am here to today."

The “Stand Up for the Other” pledge reads as follows: While interacting with members of my own faith, or ethnic, or gender community, or with others, if I hear hateful comments from anyone about members of any other community, I pledge to stand up for the other and speak up to challenge bigotry in any form.

"What is wonderful about this school is children really are color blind they don't see each other by their race, they see each other as their friends," Sury said. "I think this message really allows them to instill the belief that we're all in this together. We all need to stand up for each other regardless of what our differences are."

Did you like this story? 

Sign Up for E-News

Give us your feedback at mlyons@tapinto.net.

If you did like it, please share with your friends and followers on Facebook and Twitter, and don't forget to "Like" our FaceBook Page!

Download the TAPinto App!   Click here for Android - Click here for iOS 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Franklin Township

Business Partners Jack Morris and Joe Jingoli Honored with Service Award During FBCLG 2018 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Service

January 15, 2018

FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, NJ - Jack Morris, CEO and President of Edgewood Properties and Vice Chairman of Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJ), and Joseph Jingoli, CEO of Joseph Jingoli & Son, Inc., Joseph Jingoli, received the 2018 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Service Award on Sunday, Jan. 14, 2018 at First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens (FBCLG).

Morris and Jingoli, business partners ...

New Brunswick Man Arrested Following Sunday Morning Slashing

January 15, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Police arrested a New Brunswick man in connection with a knife fight early Sunday morning, authorities confirmed on Monday.

The incident left one man, a 22-year-old New Brunswick resident, with injuries to his hand, according to police spokesperson Captain JT Miller.

Officers responded to the incident at 3:19 a.m. on Jan. 19, after reports came in of an altercation in ...

New Brunswick, Highland Park, Rutgers, Use Art to Team Up Against Hate

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Hate incidents across the country have been on the rise in the past year, and New Brunswick has been no exception.

That’s why city officials will be partnering with ​the Borough of ​Highland Park and the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, for a month-long arts project meant to promote peace, love and understanding.

“Windows of ...

Flemington Attempted Murder Suspect Surrenders

FLEMINGTON, NJ – The suspect sought in what Hunterdon County Prosecutor Anthony P. Kearns, III called an attempted murder has surrendered, according to a press release issued this morning.

Ciro Perrone, 32, of Flemington, was wanted a warrant charging him with first-degree attempted murder, second-degree aggravated assault, third-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and ...

New Brunswick's Homeless Hunker Down During Record-Breaking Cold Wave

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Kathy Gallis considers herself one of the luckier guests at the city’s warming center.

She has a social security check, a smartphone, and a hotel to stay at for at least a few days.

But the check is only a few hundred dollars, and the Sayreville hotel Gallis stays at charges $75 a night.

It’s easy to burn through the money quickly, and she’s come to ...

Dog Dies After Being Left at PetSmart; SPCA and Family Seek Answers

RARITAN TWP., NJ – This is a story about Scruffles and it is not a happy one.

Scruffles was an eight-year-old bulldog, a pet loved by Danielle DiNapoli and her family. Their story has gone viral on Facebook with more than 14,000 shares and nearly 10,000 comments, leading DiNapoli to create a “Justice for Scruffles” Facebook page.

DiNapoli said she just wants answers. She ...

New Brunswick Man Arrested Following Sunday Morning Slashing

January 15, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Police arrested a New Brunswick man in connection with a knife fight early Sunday morning, authorities confirmed on Monday.

The incident left one man, a 22-year-old New Brunswick resident, with injuries to his hand, according to police spokesperson Captain JT Miller.

Officers responded to the incident at 3:19 a.m. on Jan. 19, after reports came in of an altercation in ...

New Brunswick, Highland Park, Rutgers, Use Art to Team Up Against Hate

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Hate incidents across the country have been on the rise in the past year, and New Brunswick has been no exception.

That’s why city officials will be partnering with ​the Borough of ​Highland Park and the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, for a month-long arts project meant to promote peace, love and understanding.

“Windows of ...

Flemington Attempted Murder Suspect Surrenders

FLEMINGTON, NJ – The suspect sought in what Hunterdon County Prosecutor Anthony P. Kearns, III called an attempted murder has surrendered, according to a press release issued this morning.

Ciro Perrone, 32, of Flemington, was wanted a warrant charging him with first-degree attempted murder, second-degree aggravated assault, third-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and ...

From Basement Beer to Shooting Heroin: NBA’s Chris Herren Challenges Community to Ask Why

January 12, 2018

WARREN, NJ - It’s not about the end, it’s about the beginning. That’s what Chis Herren wants us to focus on. Not the end of the road with the junkie with a needle in his arm, but on the 14,15, 16 and 17 year old kids drinking in their parent’s basements on a Friday night- where it all starts, he said.

Herren spoke to parents and kids at Watchung Hills on Wednesday, ...

TD Bank Ballpark Community Box Available to Non-profits, Community Organizations

SOMERVILLE, NJ - Requests are now being accepted to use the 30-seat community box at the TD Bank Ballpark.

To be eligible, applicants should be nonprofits whose client base consists of at least 50 percent Somerset County residents or community organizations that are located in Somerset County or have a facility based in Somerset County that serves the citizens of Somerset County.  ...

Hillsborough HS Graduate Jasmine Brown Named a Rhodes Scholar

HILLSBOROUGH, NJ – Jasmine Brown, a 2014 graduate of Hillsborough High School, was honored by the Township Committee Tuesday for being named a Rhodes Scholar, one of 32 university and college students nationwide selected for the prestigious fellowship.

Mayor Gloria McCauley and Deputy Mayor Doug Tomson presented Brown with a proclamation.

Brown will spend a year at Oxford University ...

From Basement Beer to Shooting Heroin: NBA’s Chris Herren Challenges Community to Ask Why

January 12, 2018

WARREN, NJ - It’s not about the end, it’s about the beginning. That’s what Chis Herren wants us to focus on. Not the end of the road with the junkie with a needle in his arm, but on the 14,15, 16 and 17 year old kids drinking in their parent’s basements on a Friday night- where it all starts, he said.

Herren spoke to parents and kids at Watchung Hills on Wednesday, ...

TD Bank Ballpark Community Box Available to Non-profits, Community Organizations

SOMERVILLE, NJ - Requests are now being accepted to use the 30-seat community box at the TD Bank Ballpark.

To be eligible, applicants should be nonprofits whose client base consists of at least 50 percent Somerset County residents or community organizations that are located in Somerset County or have a facility based in Somerset County that serves the citizens of Somerset County.  ...

New Brunswick Man Arrested Following Sunday Morning Slashing

January 15, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Police arrested a New Brunswick man in connection with a knife fight early Sunday morning, authorities confirmed on Monday.

The incident left one man, a 22-year-old New Brunswick resident, with injuries to his hand, according to police spokesperson Captain JT Miller.

Officers responded to the incident at 3:19 a.m. on Jan. 19, after reports came in of an altercation in ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast Medical Minute – Winter Weather Edition

On this episode of AtlantiCast Medical Minute, learn how to take the fight to Old Man Winter, while staying safe! Learn some winter health tips with Anthony Brutico, MD, Medical Director of the Emergency Department at Newton Medical Center.