Bloomingdale High School students used a unique strategy to make an impact last month. The school’s Student Government Association (SGA) members encouraged all students to participate in a Positivity Week in an effort to push back against school violence.
Events throughout the week included High Five Monday, Team Kindness Tuesday, Compliment Thursday, where students were encouraged to write a compliment slip, supplied by the SGA, during lunch and share it with a peer, and Fist Bump Friday.
“A fist bump, a compliment, a high five – they are small gestures from a classmate that could make a big difference in a student’s life when it comes to feeling connected and involved at school,” said Hillsborough County Public School’s Media Outreach, Tanya Arja.
According to the school’s SGA teacher sponsor, Amanda LaFoe, the idea for the week was initiated at a monthly district SGA meeting after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
“Our goal is to create a district wide initiative to encourage students to get to know their peers through positive actions,” said LaFoe, who also teaches Government and History at the school. “We are trying to build a trust among our students. Letting the students build trust with their teachers and faculty members, I think that’s what’s happened recently.”
Students feel that the message from the week will leave a lasting impact.
“I find that a lot of times, people just walk in the hallways and look the other way,” said Senior Haley Lazzara. “I’ve been making it my mission to reach out and say hi to people in the hallways more than I usually do, just so people feel welcome and comfortable, and make them feel better about themselves and better about the community they’e in and the school they go to every day.”
Students also raised money for Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School through the purchase of maroon shirts which they wore on the Wednesday of Positivity Week.
“I hope that Positivity Week sets precedent that we are here together,” said Senior Ashley Russell. “If you have a problem, you need to talk to somebody and know that you are not alone.”
Bloomingdale High School is located at 1700 E. Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico. For information, at 744-8018 or visit www.bloomingdale.mysdhc.org.