Two years ago, the West Hempstead school district formed a character education committee of teachers and administrators who meet once a month to discuss, among other things, how to promote responsibility, passion and perseverance in their students’ every day lives.
One of the many byproducts of the committee was the “Students With Ability for Greatness” a group of students who were challenged to help create a safer learning environment by promoting unity and respect.
With the help of district faculty, administrators and parental organizations, the SWAG team developed, promoted and implemented numerous programs focusing on anti-bullying, diversity/tolerance of others, community responsibility, and more — which recently caught the attention and admiration of the Anti Defamation League.
Last Friday, the ADL honored the group of 42 SWAG students, along with PTA, PTSA, and SEPTA members, and school officials, when they designated the West Hempstead Middle School as a No Place for Hate Gold Star school, and presented the school with a its Gold Star banner.
The school is the first in Nassau County to be included in its Gold Star program
To qualify for the award, the school needed to complete at least three activities that focused on inclusivity and community, honored diversity and fostered harmony, promoted respect for individuals and group differences, and more over a period of two semesters.
West Hempstead Middle School, however, completed multiple character education and anti bullying programs, which included: