Diversity educators training Loyalton High students
By Angelina Folchi
Nineteen LHS students were invited to and attended an all-day training Dec. 6 put on by a team from the University of California, Davis. This program is called the Sierra County High School Restorative Justice Project, but the LHS staff prefers to call it diversity education. The purpose of the project is to improve students’ lives at school – stopping bullying, discrimination, and cultural ridicule.
At the training the students met with three women from UC Davis and “talked about issues and problems we have in the school,” Kyra McGarr said.
First, the team had everyone sit in a circle and say one thing about themselves. They then took a short survey about what they do on their free time at school, and everyone shared ideas about how they could help their community.
“It was a lot of group discussion,” Tommy Ketchum said.
The students answered questions like what they would do if they could rule the world, and only the person with the letter opener could speak.
Jorge Garcia said, “I liked being able to hear everyone’s opinion.”
In the same train of thought, McGarr added, “I like how we all respected each other’s points of view.”
Sierra County currently has a reserve of money to hold team-building trainings every summer. At the start of this year, Superintendent Stan Hardeman said he hoped to bring Challenge Day to LHS, using this money. Challenge Day is an outreach program that celebrates diversity and hopes to let everyone feel safe.
Unfortunately, Challenge Day couldn’t be held in Loyalton, but the school district was referred to UC Davis’s Center for Community School Partnerships (CCSP).
Sierra County is paying $13,000 for this diversity education project put on by the UC Davis School of Education, and this project will mostly likely be approved at the next school district board meeting. In exchange, LHS has agreed to be a pilot for university’s new project.
The team from UC Davis is expected to come back in about six months to hold another training with more LHS students. There are expected to be about three or four student trainings throughout the year, while one or two trainings will be held for staff and adults that kids look up to.
The purpose of training adults is so that everyone in the community is on the same page, and students aren’t alone in their fight for equality. The overall goal of the project is for students to plan a community where everyone feels comfortable and cared for.
New Year’s party open to all
By Rickie DeVany
Friday Night Live (FNL) will be having a New Year’s party again this year. FNL is a healthy lifestyle club whose purpose is to help students make positive choices in their lives. FNL also helps students make healthy choices and encourages a drug-free lifestyle.
FNL is putting on the New Year’s Eve party to give the students something safe and productive to do on New Year’s. The party itself will feature free food, games and dancing. The whole purpose of the party is to encourage students to stay away from the party scenes that are thrown all throughout the night. There will be a short presentation along with a video on the effects of drinking, drugs, and DUIs.
Mrs. Gressel, the FNL advisor said, “Last year was a big success and a lot of fun for the students who attended.” She encouraged all students to come and participate this year. Only Loyalton High School students can come with the exception of family members, with the permission from Mrs. Gressel. There will be no entrance fee for the party, which will be taking place in Mrs. Gressel’s room, 103, at 8 p.m. and ending at 1 a.m.
FNL also puts on many other activities to help students live safe and healthy lives. Two of these activities are the Friday Night Live movie nights and the REACH conference. To gain funding for these events, FNL is also taking part in the county’s Youth Tobacco Purchase Services.
The Friday Night Live club has closed membership for the year, but is happy to report that instead of having a majority of girls, more guys have elected to join. If anyone is interested in any upcoming events, they can speak to an FNL club member or Mrs. Gressel.