Anti-Defamation League comes to CHS

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Anti-Defamation League comes to CHS

Megan Meza

Megan Meza

Megan Meza

Students used pipe cleaners to represent characteristics about themselves.

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On August 27, 28 and 29, the Anti-Defamation League, an agency that works to fight against human inequalities and anti-Semitism, came to CHS to teach students about tolerance.

ADL holds peer training programs throughout the United States to encourage students to take action against various social injustices in their community. CHS students involved in this program are working together to help mediate issues of social prejudice on campus, using the skills they learned during training.

“[This program] is a great idea because there are a lot of social problems that students do not know how to deal with,” said peer support president senior Ashley Himmelstern. “A lot of Anti-Defamation League comes to CHS
people are afraid to ask for help, so it is important that a group of peers is there.” After the vandalism incident that occurred at CHS last April, concerned Calabasas residents contacted ADL, who then contacted Principal C.J Foss to see if the school would be interested in conducting a program. Foss then brought the idea to the Peer Support advisor Kathy Heukrodt to see if the students in Peer Support would be interested in such a program.

“I was really excited when I was contacted by Principal C.J. Foss,” said Heukrodt. “This is exactly what Peer Support is meant to do, and this should make a difference in the social climate of the school.”

Students from Peer Support, the Associated Student Body and other volunteers were involved in the three-day training seminar. There, they discussed different forms of prejudice and planned different workshops such as creating public service announcements in KYOTV, working with several ninthgrade Coyote Connect groups and conducting several activities to help educate students about tolerance.

“[The program] is not about telling people what they should or should not say,” said ADL staff
member Darcy Fehringer. “It is about talking to each other and learning from one another so they can all take action for this cause.”

The students volunteering for ADL hope to create a less intimidating environment for their peers to voice their concerns. They also hope more students will seek the support and counseling they might need. The members of the program plan to have the student body participate in these activities throughout the year. •

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