“Hey, Bill, can we trade instruments and make a lot of noise?” It’s not the kind of request I would normally go for, much as I value student voice, but I knew it was Thursday evening and the lead singer for the middle school rock band was still on their way, having gotten out of theatre rehearsal late and needing to grab a quick dinner. I said, “Let’s do it!” The kids shouted happily and jumped up and ran, practically running each other over, eventually settling into place. I counted off - 1, 2, 1 2 3 4 - and the grand and joyous cacophony began.
by Celine Nader
Here at Stoneleigh-Burnham, our mission statement is both descriptive of what is, and aspirational, considering what we hope will be. We talk about fostering voice, choice, and agency in our students here at SBS — and I feel confident that this is, by and large, quite effective.
“If you went to the Women’s March, could you please come up front with me?” said Celine Nader as she prepared to start a presentation in housemeeting. Interspersed with her beautiful words (included here in her blog post) were the students’ own thoughts. They loved the march for its sense of a diverse community coming together in support of each other. One student specifically mentioned she loved the intersectionality, the acknowledgement of race and of the fact that the rally was being held on land that was known as Pocumtuck for thousands of years before colonists renamed it Greenfield. Another student said that it’s wonderful that we cultivate and support girls’ voices here but that it’s also important to take them out into the world, and this march gave us a chance to do that.
by Gabrielle (Bri) Rooks '18
For as long as I can remember, image has been everything. What people think about us seems to be the main focus for many. We tend to put ourselves in categories. Sometimes we start to label people before we know them. Say you are walking down the street and you meet someone for the first time. The first thing you probably notice about them is what they look like and what their actions are implying. This automatically triggers us to put a label on them. It so common for us to look for differences that we tend to lose sight of what we have in common. When we see someone with a disability that keeps them in a wheelchair, we automatically start looking at them or treating them differently based on that one thing that “defines” them. The only thing that makes you different from that person is the way you are choosing to look at them. In a community, there are categories that people fall under based on the definitions we have created. For example, there is the higher class, the middle class and the lower class in a community. Looking at a specific community such as a school setting, you find categories for the jocks, the geeks, the popular and so on. Who decides these categories, these labels, these stereotypes? Who establishes the things that define each of us? Well the answer to all this is quite simple — WE DO! We put ourselves in these categories. We are the ones who give each other labels. We are the ones who stray away from what is not “the norm.”