Anti-Defamation League brings “No Place for Hate” to CHS

By Maya Rosenberg, Editor-in-Chief

CHS will be the newest school in MCPS to receive “No Place for Hate” training by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).


The goal of “No Place for Hate” is to provide members of the CHS community with a framework and resources for challenging bigotry, name-calling and bullying. The training for students in this program will begin Feb. 20 to Feb. 23, and there will be a launch event later during the spring.


“ADL launched No Place for Hate in 1999 and has implemented the program in more than 1,700 schools nationwide,” ADL Education Director Seth A. Gordon-Lipkin said. “With public displays of hate on the rise in recent years, ADL decided to expand this program into the Washington, D.C. area in 2016 in order to ensure that school communities throughout the region are empowered to make proactive efforts to confront bias and send a clear, unified message of respect for differences.”


According to WTOP, There were 62 hate crimes last year in Montgomery County, including incidents in the schools — a 17 percent increase over 2015.


CHS itself saw an increase in the occurrence of hateful incidents within the past two years. In Dec. 2016, two students taped a “whites only” sign in a bathroom. In Mar. 2017, a student received an anti-semitic text while learning about the Holocaust, and in Dec. 2017, a swastika was found in a boys’ bathroom stall.


According to Gordon-Lipkin, after these bias-related incidents, parents, administrators and faculty at CHS reached out to the ADL to “explore opportunities to partner on an initiative that could help foster an accepting and affirming school climate at CHS.”


According to Principal Joan Benz, she disagrees, stating that there was no single incident that prompted the introduction of the training program to CHS.


Originally founded as program to fight against anti-semitism, the ADL now focuses on preventing hate, bias and extremism amongst all groups of people. The non-profit has different training and education programs like “No Place for Hate” that work in schools, offices and other group settings to promote anti-bias environments and cultural sensitivity.

While CHS is only the fourth MCPS school that will implement The “No Place for Hate” training sessions, it is the only high school to do so thus far.


“It is always part of our educational duty…to address situations that CHS students may be facing,” Benz said.


A group of 15 students along with staff and CHS parents will be leaders of implementing the program at CHS. In the days ahead of the “No Place for Hate” training sessions, teachers wore yellow stickers promoting the program.


Senior class president and student participant in the “No Place for Hate” campaign Hana Mangat worked with the ADL in the past in their National Youth Leadership Conference, which was focused on promoting awareness and prevention of genocide. While there, Mangat spent her time discussing the Rwandan genocide and the Holocaust.


“When we find swastikas on desks or hear a politician make a racial slur, people tend to let those things pass because they think they are ‘minor,’” Mangat said. “But each time, I think of the [survivors of genocide], and I think how foolish it would be to tell them ‘Oh, don’t worry, it’s a joke.’”


While the “No Place for Hate” programming will focus more on promoting cultural sensitivity and tolerance instead of genocide, the programs hope to still foster a sense of understanding and inclusivity.


According to Benz, there will also be student “study circles” and “cultural proficiency” training for teachers in addition to the ADL programming.


“The goal of this program is to bring new and existing efforts at CHS under one powerful message of respect and inclusion,” Gordon-Lipkin said.