Spreading Love With Inclusion

Spreading Love With Inclusion at Wantagh Middle School

Acceptance, empathy, respect and tolerance are among the core values of Wantagh Middle School, which reinforced those principles during No Place for Hate day on Feb. 17. This year’s theme was “Be Inclusive.”

Principal Anthony Ciuffo said this was the third time that the school has hosted No Place for Hate day, a national initiative sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League.

“The goal is for all students to walk through these halls and feel included and part of our family,” Mr. Ciuffo said. “We strive to create an environment where students feel accepted.”

Teacher Kristin Piciullo, who coordinated No Place for Hate day, said that there were activities in every class to promote acceptance and foster a climate where students care about each other. They watched videos and took part in art projects, insightful discussions and writing activities. 

All students were invited to contribute to a mural of hearts in the hallway near the art rooms, inspired by the work of street artist James Goldcrown. Another group painted “Acceptance” in one of the stairways using all the colors of the rainbow.

The day ended with each class crafting a belief statement for Wantagh Middle School. Ms. Piciullo noted that the overall message for students was to appreciate and value each other’s differences, and to build a community where everyone feels comfortable.