These photos are from two events held in our school to inform our students and faculty on the perils and problems associated with Domestic Abuse and Dating Violence. Donna Ruggeri's students did these activities as a culminating activity following reading two novels: Speak and Don't You Dare Read This, Mrs. Dunphrey.
It started with a campaign - "These Hands Don't Hurt!" This campaign was originated by Donovan McNabb of the Philadelphia Eagles. It was his contention that 'real men' don't have to abuse or hurt their girlfriends, wives, kids or mothers. The class wholeheartedly agreed - and made the pledge effective for both boys and girls -- they would not abuse their significant other! The campaign was a great success: 230 people (roughly 31%) from our school signed the pledge and printed their hand on our sheet. The photo gallery shows the sheet signing, as well as the creation of the sheet itself by the New Horizons class.
They also hosted a Clothesline Exhibit from the Essex County STOP Domestic Violence Committee. This committee has a traveling exhibit of over 140 T-shirts made by survivors or domestic abuse and sexual violence. Their testimony is always very moving. T-shirts were very carefully screened, so that the truly graphic and upsetting t-shirts were not shown to students. Many students and staff members commented on how amazed and touched they were to see this exhibit.