PEER Promotes Tolerance Month: A quick glance into the 3 month long period of tolerance awareness

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By Brady Bullington

 It is the start of a school year at a brand new school and you’re worried about not getting accepted for being the new kid. You feel excluded and left out everywhere you go and don’t know what to do. A PEER student walks up to you during lunch and asks to sit with you so they can chat with you and you say yes and begin to make conversation.

The month of January is Tolerance Month which is run by the PEER program at school. Tolerance Month is a very important effort because it raises awareness for other cultures and lifestyles that are in the world. To be tolerant of something doesn’t mean you have to agree with the way one person is but rather means you should be respectful of who people are inside.

  Haley Smeltzer, a junior who is a part of PEER, said she personally considered tolerance, “Accepting everyone for who they are and who they want to be. To let everyone feel comfortable being themselves.” The program begun to make powerpoint slides for the advisory lessons to help better our school community’s knowledge and information on what tolerance is and why it’s important for us to demonstrate it. Our LGBTQ+ students are an example of people that would love to feel welcomed in a school environment with caring, loving students and staff to make them feel accepted. Feeling welcomed doesn’t come easy when something that makes you unique also makes you stand out. Our Huskies Buddies club meet every Thursday after school and helps partner up students from all different grade levels and classes to make sure everyone is included and has a positive experience in school.

  As a part of the three month long tolerance awareness time period it’ll include tolerance in January, love is kindness in February, and anti-bullying to wrap it up in March to go along with Unity Week before spring break. In late February, PEER will be releasing a video for anti-bullying along with the help of Mr. Daniel and pulling together many different clubs and people of different backgrounds to be in the video. “You don’t have to like a person to respect the person and it’s just that simple,” said Ms. Valeria Austin when asked about her outlook on how tolerance is in her viewpoint and that’s what she’d like Tuscarora to be able to see.

  A Twitter poll done on if people believe students practice this skill well or not, a 73% said yes and a 27% said no. Throughout the next couple months there’ll be a lot of opportunities for students to get involved and help spread the awareness, kindness, and love around.