Bloomington-Normal students and Not In Our Town leaders will gather next week to honor school employees who work to “Stop Hate Together” and create inclusive environments for the Twin City youth.
The Not In Our School group, a branch of Not In Our Town Bloomington-Normal, will recognize over 40 area school employees Monday for their work to end bullying, bigotry, and all forms of intolerance.
Kavya Sudhir is a senior at Normal Community High School. Olivia Ruff is a senior studying Education at Illinois Wesleyan University. Both participate with Not In Our School Bloomington-Normal.
Sudhir said inclusive schools allow students to understand and better relate to their peers.
“Creating an inclusive environment, you feel like more of a community at school,” Sudhir said. “And so you feel like you have someone that relates to you, so you’re kind of getting through school and it motivates you to do well.”
Sudhir said the Not In Our School event shows Bloomington-Normal is moving in the right direction towards inclusivity, but that there will always be more work needed to encourage others to follow suit.
Ruff agreed. She said the work to “stop the hate” and create safe spaces will never be complete.
Ruff wants to be a teacher. She said she supports Not In Our School because the movement towards inclusivity is of growing need in primary and secondary schools.
“It’s definitely become more of an emphasis in the education program and just being more aware of all the struggles that our students face,” Ruff said.
Educators should work to approach those differences in a way that is beneficial to students, Ruff said. She said she thinks the recognition event is a great way to inspire others.
The Not In Our School event takes place 7 p.m. Monday at Illinois Wesleyan University's Hansen Student Center.
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