R Word Rally at Avondale High School

Avondale School District Announces R Word Rally, An Event designed as Opportunity for Students and Staff to Reaffirm Respect for All

Hundreds of Avondale School District students in grades eight through twelve will participate in an R Word Rally on January 18 at Avondale High School. The event brings together students from the District’s middle school, high school, and alternative high school for an opportunity to explore and celebrate the diversity of the school environment. The rally is being planned by staff, students and community members and will include hands-on activities as well as presentations by individual students and performances by Avondale vocal music, instrumental music and theater groups.

Avondale School District Superintendent Dr. James Schwarz sees the rally as a way for the school community to reaffirm its commitment to providing a safe environment for all students to learn and grow. “Avondale has always enjoyed a community rich with differences. Differences that don’t translate to an unsafe learning environment but rather differences that enhance the learning environment,” he said. “The rally is an opportunity for students and staff to come together and celebrate the differences that make us One Avondale,” he added.

An uptick in news reports of incidents around the country of school-aged children demonstrating disrespectful behaviors has education leaders working closely with their staffs to ensure safe learning environments. The decision by Avondale School District leaders to hold the rally supports a statement released by State School Superintendent Brian Whiston after the 2016 presidential election, wherein Whiston implored school districts to “cultivate and develop in our students a steadfast respect for all others, inclusive of race, religion, orientation, or social-economic standing.”

Avondale High School teacher, Edmond Guay, is part of the group planning the event. He sees the rally as a demonstration of the uniqueness of the community he has served for almost 30 years. “In the wake of so much news of late about intimidation and insults in schools, Avondale wishes to take this opportunity to remind itself of and turn the spotlight on what makes our district so valuable and so unique: the way we embrace the differences in our community and that while our diversity makes us rich in texture, it is our unity and respect within that diversity that makes us strong.”

The R Rally takes place from 9:30 – 10:50 a.m. on January 18 at Avondale High School (2800 Waukegan Street, Auburn Hills, 48326).

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