Red Hook middle school students wielding words against hate

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Red Hook’s middle schoolers get to think about the power of words during the annual No Name Calling Week, which was held this year from Feb. 3 through Feb. 7.

The week is sponsored by the Linden Avenue Middle School’s anti-bullying club, “ACT PAC,” and includes the “What’s in a Name” poetry slam contest.

“Students were asked to write poems about respect and how the words we choose can potentially hurt others. Then on a snowy winter afternoon, students and faculty members piled into the library at the middle school and students came up and read their poems in front of a supportive crowd,” ACT PAC advisor Ashley Amell told the Observer.

Here is one of the three winning poems, by seventh grader Katrina Menos.

Treat everyone nice to be respected
Or get something back that you never expected.
So if you did something wrong, go back and correct it.
Because no one wants to feel neglected.

You all should know that bullying is wrong
So be caring and nice until you get along.
Don’t try and make someone feel that they don’t belong
Because they will start to feel weak instead of feeling strong.

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