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In an effort to stem senseless and often race-related violence that erupts in some areas of Queens, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has developed an anti-bias and diversity training program call &#8220No Place for Hate.”
&#8220We’re trying to get out a message of mutual respect,” said Joel Levy, the New York regional director for the ADL. Levy said the program strives to teach participants to appreciate differences between people as positive and good, rather than something to merely be tolerated.
&#8220I knew we had to get involved,” said New York City Councilmember James Sanders Jr., who said he has witnessed a number of racially-charged incidents in his district citing Anti-Semitic slurs against Orthodox Jews and violence between young people.
&#8220Young people have to learn to see the beauty in others,” he said.
One example of the wanton violence that happens with disturbing frequency in Sanders’ district occured on September 25, when 19-year-old Shakiel Chandler allegedly shot to death 16-year-old Mario Young as Young walked with friends on Beach Channel Drive in Far Rockaway. Police said the shooting may have been related to an ongoing dispute between the two young men, according to published reports. It was the second time Young had been shot in a month, the reports added.
The &#8220No Place for Hate” campaign can be implemented in both communities and classrooms. It was launched at Beach Channel High School on Monday, December 4.
Among schools in his district, Sanders said that maintaining harmony at Beach Channel was particularly challenging because of its great diversity of students.
The first step in launching the campaign is forming a dedicated committee and enrolling with the ADL. Next, the community or school announces its enrollment in &#8220No Place for Hate” and begins organizing anti-bias programs.
In order to be officially certified as a &#8220No Place for Hate” community or school, the organization must complete three anti-bias activities within 12 months. For schools that list might include classroom discussion, student exchange and peer mediation, but schools can also develop their own activities.
Once the activities are completed the school or community becomes certified as &#8220No Place for Hate” for one year.
Dr. David Morris, Principal of Beach Channel High, said that because the school has had its own peer mediation program for several years, introducing the &#8220No Place for Hate” campaign made sense.
What’s more, Morris explained, because Beach Channel High students come from within a small community and are destined to cross paths outside of school, it is even more important that they be able to resolve issues productively and without violence.
&#8220It’s a sad thing to bury a kid who is 16 years old,” he said.

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