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High school students are spreading love instead of hate at empowerment workshop

Posted: 6:04 PM, Oct 24, 2018
Updated: 2018-10-25 11:16:28Z

Spreading love instead of hate, that's the message for high school students across the metro Wednesday. With all the division in today's society, it may be more important than ever to stop the spread of hate.

Students who spoke with 3 News Now Wednesday say it is common to see bullying and other acts of bias at their school all based on people being from different backgrounds and having different views on life. 

Promoting empowerment in our world, ten students from 18 schools across the Omaha metro gathered Wednesday to discuss different types of bias and bigotry occurring in the world today. "I think it's important that you know how other people's backgrounds are so that you don't judge them,” said South High School, Marcoant Rivera. Especially at school students say it is not uncommon to see types of hateful behavior, and when it happens they often didn't know how to help those affected. "I find myself being a bystander a lot when I should be helping others out,” said Rachel Achola, junior at Marian High School.

But Wednesday’s leaders showed students ways to help those who feel they have no one to turn to when hateful acts happen to them. “You can really just become an ally and help any kid in any situation,” said sophomore, Will Eickenbary. Students say that in today's world a lot of people are divided and tend to judge people based on their race, religion, or ethnicity. Organizers of today's workshop say that attending something like this gives students confidence to discuss differences in a respectful way. "I was in a session a few moments ago and a student had said I really liked that we were able to talk about things and disagree and still talk and I think that's something we wanna see more in our society,” said Mary-Beth Muskin, regional director ADL/CRC.

Students who attended say that they now feel empowered to go back to school and help anyone who is being treated poorly. "Don't just stand up to the bully but also go to the person it was done to and take away what that person did to them,” said Allysa Smith, junior at Blackburn Alternative Program.

Students that attended today will now become advocates for their school to work towards the goal of becoming "No Place For Hate".