Area students learn about acceptance and inclusion

Staff report

Brookfield Middle and High schools recently hosted a variety of activities as part of “Start with Hello Week,” an event that promotes acceptance and inclusion among peers.

The students heard from several guest speakers about positivity and kindness. Alex Smith, a representative with the Sandy Hook Promise, spoke to the students, reinforcing the idea that starting the day with a “hello” could make a difference in someone’s life. Students also took part in “No One Eats Alone Day,” which encourages everyone to eat with someone new at lunch time.

Freddie Seitz, a Poland High School graduate born with Goldenhar syndrome and is without his right ear and has several other facial deformities, gave a talk on bullying and stressed the importance of acceptance. Seitz, who has endured hundreds of surgeries and many obstacles in his life, recently graduated from the University of Akron. He also spoke at Canfield Middle School, where students in Sabrina Eaton’s eighth-grade class has chosen the motto “Everyone’s Story Matters.”

The class chose the motto after discussing the book “To Kill a Mockingbird,” in which the character Atticus Finch advises the protagonist, Scout, that she’ll get along better with others if she can take on alternative perspectives by saying, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view.”

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