(KMTR) -- South Eugene High School students and staff spent today focused on social issues and diversity during their second Day of Respect.
A school-wide assembly kicked off the event at South Eugene High School
this morning and the day continued with workshops and discussions all focused on understanding and appreciating diversity.
Instead of attending their usual classes, students focused on social issues. This was South Eugene's second bi-annual Day of Respect. Principal Bernstein says the school always has an assembly on acceptance around Martin Luther King Jr. Day, but a couple years ago the school decided it wasn't enough. That's when they decided to dedicate a full school day, every other year, on the topic.
The goal is for students to be more engaged, gaining deeper insight.
"Today hopefully we're going to do a little bit of taking stock of our human condition and, in taking stock of it . . . becoming a little more aware of it, also figuring out how we collectively and individually can improve it," says Principal Bernstein.
Brian Ward, the Senior Class President at South Eugene says he’s very happy their school has a Day of Respect. He participated in the first one and thinks discussing tough topics is a way to get to know his peers better.
"These are going to be our problems when we're adults and we're going to be the ones dealing with this in the future,” says Ward.
Students discussed tough topics dealing with race, sexual orientation and cultural differences. The day ended with about a thousand students and staff marching down High Street, holding signs with messages of respect. The march went from South Eugene High School all the way downtown to The Shedd Theater. There, students heard from the keynote speaker Karen Korematsu, the co-founder of the Fred T. Korematsu Institute for Civil Rights.