Students all over the country will participate in learning about different cultures, different groups, cliques, races or ethnicity as they gather for lunch. This challenge to social boundaries is part of the annual “Mix It Up At Lunch Day,” sponsored by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The organizers hope that many of the prejudices and biases kids are brought up with will fall away when they meet new people.
Social scientists have long maintained that contact between diverse groups helps alleviate tensions and reduce prejudice. Mix It Up seeks to break down the barriers between students and improve intergroup relations so there are fewer misunderstandings that can lead to conflicts, bullying and harassment.
Many experts agree: Students thrive both socially and academically in schools that are inclusive. Yet, a look at recent headlines about bullying, cyberbullying and a lack of civility and empathy confirms that for too many students, schools are hotbeds of exclusion. Florida has been in the national headlines almost monthly with reports on the two teens in Broward County that were nearly bullied to death.
Unfortunately Florida is not a stranger to school violence and bullying incidents. In Sanford, Florida, devoted father, James Jones made national headlines as he entered his daughter’s school bus to confront the bullies that had been harassing his disabled daughter, Chatari. Not only were they verbally abusing her, they were throwing open condoms on her and twisting her ears.
Although James Jones does not condone his behavior, it was out of frustration and love for his daughter that he just had enough. Today James Jones is crossing the country speaking out about bullying and urging everyone from schools, teachers, parents and your communities to get involved in this growing problem in our country.
Part of getting involved is teaching our children tolerance and acceptance of others. Mix it Up is about this issue. Isn’t it time you got involved?
Isn’t it time North Florida became one of the leaders in teaching tolerance and acceptance in our schools and communities?
Whether you are in Clay, Duval, or St. Johns County, sign your school up for National Mix it Up Lunch Day! Register here. Are you outside of Nouth Florida? No problem, our country needs to get in the groove and learn to Mix it Up nationwide – click here to sign your school up today!
Pass this on to your local schools and teachers TODAY! Get your Mix it Up tools here!
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