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Seniors’ Last Stand

WBHS Senior Upstanders Ready to Promote Social Justice in New Arenas

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The WBHS Upstander program says goodbye to many seniors. The long list of graduates includes Alexys Hearst, Ja Ayr Barnum, Elenni Amde, Courtney Alexander, Jasmine Morigney, Jianella Macalino, Dominique Hermiz, Emma Hues, Iffat Jahan, Keyaira Johnson, Gabrielle Lowenthal, Darian Martin, Kayla Mcphaul, Aleena Mirza, Brooke Moore, Anita Morris, Letura Ngbogbara, Shelby Sprinkle and Morgan Williamson. These seniors have a lot to reflect on from their time at Upstander. This year’s accomplishments include spreading the word for anti-bullying during Upstander Week and teaching a significant group of students how to stand up to bullying. “I think we have been very effective this year,” says Macalino.

As part of the Upstander program, one of the long term projects was to develop a plan for ending bullying at WBHS in the future. For seniors, a sense of pride and accomplishment has developed as they symbolically pass on their anti-bullying plans to the next group of Upstanders. “I hope to start a tradition that people follow through with the same action plan each year because our action plan is easy and simple,” said Huez who felt very bittersweet during the interview as she spoke on her year in the program.

Along with helping the future WBHS students with the problem of bullying, these Upstander seniors learned quite a lot about bullying during their course in the program.  Morigney said, “I have learned that even though you might not directly experience the effects of bullying someone else does and that should affect you.”  A big part of the Upstander program was learning how to end bullying by assessing the problem through confrontation which was addressed in the action plans.

The work these seniors has done will help prevent bullying now and will give them life skills they will need in the road ahead. WBHS teacher and Upstander advisor Marlowe B’sheart said, “Our seniors were instrumental in the program this year.  Their commitment to community and to deepening their own leadership skills inspired the rest of the students in the program.  I know they will continue to generate positive impact in the new communities they are about to enter, even as the impact they have had here at WBHS continues to ripple out to others.”  These graduates greet their next community as well prepared Upstanders rather than bystanders in the face of social injustice.

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