No Place for Hate Summit

Nearly one in six teens have considered it. One in 12 have attempted it.

Since 2009, the percentage of teenage suicides has dramatically increased. The main reason for this? Bullying.

Many may believe that bullying is not an issue at Canyon Vista. Most, unfortunate incidences are kept private. “23.9% of our students reported having been bullied,” said Principal Nicole Hagerty. “Until that number is 0%, I will consider it a problem.”

This year, Canyon Vista sent nine students including Student Council President Junu L., to the No Place for Hate Summit, where representatives from middle schools across Central Texas meet at Austin Convention Center to discuss bullying, define what respect is, and learn how to be an ally.

Canyon Vista student representatives attended the No Place for Hate Summit on Friday, October 25th. Photo by Janet Marek
Canyon Vista student representatives attended the No Place for Hate Summit on Friday, October 25th. Photo by Janet Marek

The Summit was particularly impactful to one of our student representatives who doesn’t want Canyon Vista students to feel how she once felt, when she was a victim of bullying. “They made me feel like I was alone,” she said. “I felt like nobody could help me.” With the rest of our representatives at the Summit, she learned how to be supportive to people in need of a friendly face and a helping hand.

The first activity at the convention center was for all attendees from the different schools to start playing drums. “We discovered that when everyone plays the same rhythm, it pulses through the room and everyone can feel it,” said 8th grader Junu. “This is the way we support each other- through kindness that reaches everyone.” The focus of this activity was to get students to realize that when you work together and help each other, everything is better.

Infographic created by Kavyaa on
Infographic created by Kavyaa on

Then, splitting into groups, the students delved into the meaning of respect and what it means to be an ally to other students at school. An ally is meant to be a supporter of others and help other students who are in a situation that they can’t solve by themselves. In some cases, an ally is simply a friend.

The student representatives shared stories and discussed ideas. “We talked about what labeled us- characteristics, talents, and how that could help us be a friend to others,” said 7th grader Marley S.

To put what they learned into action, our delegates have become advocates of anti-bullying. They plan to stop hate and bullying in its tracks, one act of simple kindness after another.

All students have a part to play, to ensure everyone feels safe, respected, and appreciated at Canyon Vista. If you are ever uncomfortable in any situation and you feel that you are not safe, never be afraid to get help. Contact a trusted adult like a teacher, your parents, or one of the counselors. Also, take advantage of Canyon Vista’s anonymous reporting website, where students can report school related or personal concerns. “If we work to prevent bullying, we can ensure a safe learning environment for all students,” said Hagerty.