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High school students against racism and violence

High school students against racism and violence

They want to send a clear signal to the public that violence and racism have no chance at their school. Sophie herla, paula kaiser and alexander krisch from the school council (SMV) of hochstadter gymnasium, together with principal bernd lohneib, are the driving forces behind the "school without racism – school with courage" project.

The hochstadter gymnasium would like to join the group of already more than 1000 schools in germany that participate in the project, which is designed by students for students. Children and young people should be given the opportunity to play an active role in shaping the climate at school and to speak out against all forms of discrimination, bullying and violence.

Tenth graders get involved
"The idea of participating in the project is already in the works long in the room", says principal lohneib. Now, with the three SMV representatives, they have found comrades-in-arms who are only in the tenth grade and can still be involved for a few more years. And that is what they want to do.

For the title "school without racism – school with courage in order to get them into the school, some conditions have to be fulfilled. At least 70 percent of all those active at the school – including teachers and cleaning staff, as well as the school's janitorial staff – pledge to intervene in any form of discrimination or conflict. In addition, at least one project must be organized per year. This could be, for example, a lecture against right-wing extremism, as has already taken place at the high school, says lohneib.

"We want to improve the reputation of our school", sophie herla names the main reason for participating in the project. The hochstadter realschule is also already taking part. The initiators at the gymnasium are primarily concerned with the effect they have on the public. A concrete reason for now becoming a "school without racism the initiators did not.

Only hanseleien
He does not know of any serious cases of violence or bullying at his school, says the principal. On the other hand, small-scale hanseleien have already occurred, he admits. Lohneib appeals to his students to inform their teachers as soon as they notice anything and, if necessary, not to be afraid of going to the police. This is especially true when activities from the right-wing scene are noticed.

Part of a network
If the hochstadter gymnasium meets the requirements, it will receive a certificate and become part of the network. The title "school without racism – school with courage" it is neither a prize nor an award, but rather a commitment to the present and the future. "A kind of "tuv seal, says alexander krisch. No one was allowed to look the other way once they had signed the pledge. And you can also remind your fellow students that they have signed, adds paula kaiser.

Everyone should sign
Racism is not an issue at hochstadter gymnasium. "We have more and more children with foreign roots", says lohneib, also guest students from brazil, hungary and ukraine. Integration begins as early as the fifth grade, when foreign students sing songs in their native languages at the christmas party.
After christmas, the initiators want to start collecting signatures. Their goal is not only to reach the required 70 percent of all active high school students, but at least 90 percent.
As a prelude to the competition for the title, the hochstadter gymnasium had the "bochabela string orchestra" perform on monday evening from sud africa invited to a concert. The young african musicians thrilled the audience in the school gymnasium.

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