Leadership Organizes Tolerance Week

Steven Wetterholm, Staff Writer

“Tolerance Week” is being celebrated from March 13-16 as an opportunity for the school community to promote acceptance and support for one another.

The goal of this week-long observance is to develop an understanding about the uniqueness of every individual, recognizing the diversity, multiculturalism, and differences of others, while developing respect for those differences.

The leadership class will sponsor a variety of activities during the week, including lunchtime activities on Tuesday and Friday and tolerance workshops on Wednesday when leadership students will visit sophomore and junior English classes to facilitate discussion sessions that reinforce tolerance of differences.

Leadership students Juliette Eyl and Devon Bruzzone explained their role in the tolerance workshops:  “We will assist with discussions between students about any intolerances they feel have a presence on campus and help students form connections withtheir classmates to promote respect for one another.  The goal is to make Campolindo a place where everyone feels accepted and able to be themselves.”

Eyl and Bruzzone are also planning the lunchtime activities, which will include a statistics game in the quad where students will guess a statistical number relating to a tolerance subject.

Senior Aja Adair knows what it is like to experience the intolerance of others:   “I used to have headgear and hair shorter than down to my ears in elementary school, and everyone would call me ‘man-girl’ or ‘she-him.’   So as someone who has experienced school bullying first hand, Tolerance Week means a lot to me. With so much pressure being put on students to succeed in school, I believe that people have enough to worry about without stressing about going to school and being made fun of.”

The Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) is taking on a larger role in Tolerance Week this year.  GSA president Adair explained, “We hope to raise awareness of homophobic bullying and open people’s eyes to what it’s like to be a gay/lesbian/transgender student at Campo. We have created a video of testimonials by Campolindo students that focus on both gay and other forms of bullying at school, which will be featured in classrooms during Tolerance Week.”

On Thursday, motivational speaker Marc Elliot, who suffers from a neurological disorder known as Tourette’s syndrome, will address the student body to encourage their understanding of people’s differences.  Elliot has been inspiring audiences across the country by sharing his life story in order to convey the value of tolerance and the attitudes and behaviors that allow it to prosper.

Does Tolerance Week make a difference for students?  Junior Harrison Naton feels that this week is just a reminder that tolerance of others should be occurring in every day life.  Although Campolindo does not reflect every demographic, Naton feels that if there were more diversity, “Campolindo would still be a very tolerant school.”

Senior Julia Davis believes that there is room for improvement regarding tolerance of others.  Davis said, “Tolerance Week makes a difference at Campolindo only for that week, and afterwards students go back to the way they were.”

Adair said “that as far as high schools go, Campolindo is a pretty ‘tolerant’ place.”   However, Adair continued,  “The fact that the mindset of our students is that we need to ‘tolerate’ those who are different from us as opposed to thinking of them as our equals shows that we still have room for improvement.  Although many students don’t take Tolerance Week seriously, I believe if it makes only one person reconsider before using slurs like ‘faggot’ or ‘retard,’ then the week wasn’t a waste of time.”