COVINGTON, Ga. - Newton County School System is one of only two districts in not only Georgia but also the Southern Region to earn the designation as a “No Place For Hate” system by the Anti-Defamation League as each school in the district participates in the program.
No Place for Hate is an initiative of the Anti-Defamation League offered free to schools. The initiative is designed to rally the entire school around the goal of creating a welcoming community committed to stopping all forms of bias and bullying. Upon completion of the required program components, schools receive a No Place for Hate banner that can be proudly displayed in the school.
Ms. Erin Beacham, education director for the ADL, was on hand recently to present NCSS Superintendent Samantha Fuhrey with the district banner; she also awarded banners to each new school that participated in the program during the 2018-2019 school year. Several schools—Clements Middle, East Newton Elementary, Fairview Elementary, Live Oak Elementary, Livingston Elementary, Porterdale Elementary, and Newton County Theme School—have participated in the ADL-sponsored program for multiple years and received flags to attach to their existing No Place For Hate banners.
“Implementation of the No Place for Hate program is actually included in our school system’s strategic plan,” Amie Cumming, NCSS student services coordinator, said. “The program is designated as an initiative to help improve school climate and thus increase the high school graduation rate. It provides a framework for creating activities geared at fighting bias, bullying and hatred among students. Through No Place for Hate, students learn acceptance and tolerance, which leads to creating and maintaining a positive school climate.”
“No Place for Hate is a year-long bullying prevention program,” Beacham said. “It’s one piece of the puzzle. No Place for Hate is about building safe and brave and inclusive schools for everyone.
“I used to say it’s about all students and then I realized it’s about everybody. It’s about the students and the administration and the Board of Education and the parents. It’s about everybody that is in the community. So just to think that you all are doing this district-wide, again, it’s not just about your individual schools, it’s about saying that Newton County is doing this and we are getting this buy-in from everybody in our community, which is pretty incredible.”
“I am so proud of each of our schools for achieving this milestone,” Fuhrey said. “To be one of only two districts in the entire Southern Service Region of the Anti-Defamation League to achieve the district ‘No Place for Hate’ banner is especially remarkable. Congratulations to each of our schools; I am excited about our continued emphasis to ensure our students attend schools that are focused on creating environments in which all students thrive.”