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Laguna Beach

LBUSD receives No Place for Hate® designation

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has designated Laguna Beach Unified School District a No Place for Hate® district, recognizing its commitment to creating safe and respectful learning environments for students. 

No Place for Hate is a research-based initiative that follows many of the recommendations for creating a positive school climate laid out by the National School Climate Center. The initiative provides PreK-12 schools with an organizing framework for combating bias, bullying, and hatred, leading to long-term solutions for creating and maintaining a positive climate. 

A district must fulfill several requirements to receive a No Place for Hate designation including a district-wide needs assessment. LBUSD accomplished this by gathering data from all students, staff, parents, and guardians to assess school climate strengths and areas of need. The process included universal screenings that provided detailed insight into the quality and character of the students and school life. 

LBUSD receives sign

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Sign at Top of the World Elementary urges kids to take responsibility

Additionally, each school site must form a No Place for Hate committee, sign the No Place for Hate Promise, and complete three or more school-wide activities during the school year that recognize differences and promote respect through active learning. 

“The Laguna Beach Unified School District has made a dedicated commitment to the implementation of a comprehensive social and emotional support (SES) system for all students K-12 because we recognize the paramount role it plays in a positive school climate,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Jason Viloria. “We strive to support every student, every day, and we appreciate the support and guidance the ADL has provided as we move forward with this mission.”

The ADL will present LBUSD with the No Place for Hate designation at the school board meeting in the fall.

Each school promotes No Place for Hate

Each school in the district is pursuing a broad campaign with the goal of No Place for Hate. At El Morro Elementary, the Character Counts® program is a school-wide initiative that teaches character development based on six ethical values: Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring, and Citizenship. Each month, students are invited to participate in activities that practice those values. The month’s activities culminate with an assembly recognizing students who demonstrated a true understanding of the ethical value in theory and practice.

At Top of the World Elementary, students participated in activities throughout the year like “No One Eats Alone Day” and welcomed guest lecturers like Sam Silberberg who visited the school on the anniversary of his escape from a death march to speak against bullying.

Thurston Middle School encourages its students to “Be Thurston.” Being Thurston means to be an up-stander, be a friend, be a role model and be Thurston SMART. Thurston SMART students: Solve their problems, Make great decisions, Achieve, Respect, and are There and Ready. These philosophies are supported by school-wide activities that are developed around a different theme each month and rotate through subject areas.

At Laguna Beach High School, a committee made up of students from each grade level is dedicated to the implementation of character development activities campus-wide. The activities often encourage civic engagement through the presentation of timely and relevant topics of discussion that bring heightened awareness to the entire student body.

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