National ‘No Hate Tour’ makes its Middletown High School debut

No Hate Tour ramp set up in a school gym

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio — After a rocky start to the school year, Middletown High School leaders hope Tuesday represents the turning of the page for its students and faculty.

After a series of social media threats, school vandalism, theft of school property and a shooting near campus involving a school bus, school leadership looked to a unique way to engage students to provide anti-bullying training and accountability.

On Tuesday, the “No Hate Tour” rolled into Middletown High School. The national tour is now in its 21st year and uses sports, athletes, and celebrities to advocate for anti-bullying strategies online and in reality. Middletown High School, along with 250 other schools on the tour, was accepted to host the program at no cost to the school.

Middletown High School Principal Carmela Cotter told WLWT attendance was mandatory for all high school students. The tour was broken up into two shows to hold two grades each for social distancing guidelines.

Cotter said the show was broken up to engage students with the worlds of BMX and skateboarding. Ramps were set up inside the school’s gym as a way to wow students but also transition into conversations to talk about bullying, social media accountability, respect, allyship and mental health.

“I believe that one of the real challenges in today’s world is getting students to see that they are not anonymous,” Cotter said of social media concerns. “The words that they use have power, and they affect people both positively and negatively, and so they need to learn how to communicate well, how to communicate efficiently and effectively, and understand that that kindness is an important part of how you deliver any message.”

Considering the rocky start to the school year, Cotter said the tour couldn’t have visited Middletown High School at a better time.

Approximately 1,400 students were expected to attend the two “No Hate Tour” shows. Middletown High School said, outside of the shows, it offers encouragement and other anti-bullying and intervention efforts through the Hope Squad and Positive Behavior Interventions and Support.

Original Article Published at WLWT