Smith High Recognized for Tolerance Efforts

Smith High was recently named a Mix It Up Model School by the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance program for its exemplary efforts to foster respect and understanding among its students and throughout its campus. It is one of only 104 schools in the country to receive the honor.

“We are delighted to recognize Smith High,” said Teaching Tolerance Director Maureen Costello. “Mix It Up Model Schools have found innovative ways to create school environments where respect and inclusiveness are core values. They all serve as great examples of how a school—any school—can cultivate these values among their students, faculty and staff.”

Smith earned the recognition for the efforts of its Every1 Anti-Bullying Club. The club works against bullying in the school all year and at local middle schools. This fall, the club invited 8th-graders from Allen and Jackson middle schools to an “After School Mix It Up Ice Cream Social” where the high school students moderated small group discussions about how to increase inclusion in middle schools. Each group shared ideas and came up with action plans to take back to their schools.

The club’s work is also having a national impact. Club president and Smith senior Kenneth Brown Jr. was invited to speak at a conference of educators in Washington, D.C., about the Every1 Club’s efforts and the impact it’s making in their community.

“It's great to see our school recognized for breaking barriers that allow us to increase diversity,” says Brown. “The middle school students really like this type of thing; being diverse and breaking the barriers that hinder us. It gives me hope for the future.”