The school’s Cultural Proficiency Team is creating new videos highlighting “words and actions” which will be shown to students during second semester.
According to English teacher and team member Susana Herrera, the team of teachers is responsible for increasing communication among students in an effort to bring down barriers separating them.
The team decided to create three new videos, following one created and shown to students in 2004, which examined the theme: “Knowledge + Understanding = Respect.” The video shown in 2004 featured students who shared their experiences with discrimination due to racism, homophobia, anorexia and anti-Semitism.
According to Herrera, a new video is being created because the team did not want students to watch the same video again, since it had been used since 2004. Freshman advisory classes watched the old video during a tutorial period this year in November.
Due to complaints from students regarding the length of the original video, the team plans to create three ten-minute videos this year.
Some Camp Everytown attendees were filmed and asked to discuss why students stick with their cliques and what the benefits of “mixing it up” are.
“I think it’s something students at our school need to discuss,” said senior Jenny Uphoff, who attended Camp Everytown.
According to Herrera, students have been receptive to answering the questions. She hopes that the film will make students more compassionate and less judgemental.
Junior Ricky Lopez, who also attended Camp Everytown and was interviewed for the video, believes that it will “open [students’] eyes” and help them “realize what’s out there in the world.”
According to team member and English teacher Galen Rosenberg, the team had originally hoped to show the video to students beginning in November and December, but will be shown beginning in January because the film still needs to be edited.
According to Herrera, 10 hours of editing go into each minute of the film. Both Herrera and her husband are editing the film.
The school plans to show the films during tutorial periods, which will be followed by in-class discussions.