HILLSBOROUGH, NJ - Students at the township’s High School spent the week recognizing the diversity of their classmates, teachers and staff.
Diversity Week celebrates the uniqueness of the school’s 2,300 students and nearly 250 teachers and staff members.
During lunch periods, students were provided the opportunity to learn and share what makes them different. Some differences students are invited to learn more about include cultural background, physical challenges, family history, or sexual orientation.
Hillsborough High School student clubs and honor societies including the Spanish Honor Society, Gay-Straight Alliance, Diversity Council, and Sources of Strength had spent months planning the events and activities for the week.
"Diversity Council introduces conversations that many people are afraid to start, because the fear of a differing opinion is so prominent. We hope to educate the youth on acceptance and understanding by modeling fearlessness and bravery," said Melissa Sun and Savannah Hunter, members of Diversity Council.
The goal of the week-long celebration is for students to understand, accept, and promote diversity in all of its forms. Resources will also be on hand throughout the week to help students understand and celebrate what makes them different.
Activities for the week included a poster contest, a 20-minute choreographed dance that included cultural dances from around the world, creating a rainbow-colored chain of links, and signing a diversity pledge.
During morning announcements, the Pledge of Allegiance was repeated in various world languages; food from around the world was served during lunch periods.
Also during the week, resources were available to reinforce the idea that, although Hillsborough students are different, they are not alone.
Materials and/or representatives from various culture-based organizations, as well as local and state community resource organizations, were invited to submit materials.
Members of Hillsborough’s BoroSAFE were present during the week to talk about various support networks available in the community.
It is also the students’ hope that the discussions that occur during Diversity Week will be continued among their peers as well as at home with their families and friends.
"It is important for people to find strength in their diversity and celebrate what makes them who they are," said Vishakha Agarwal, Michael DellaFera and Leena Baloch, Sources of Strength members.