Tuesday, December 02, 2014

50 States Against Bullying: LOUISIANA

Visit number twenty on the 50 States Against Bullying campaign brought me to Louisiana. Unfortunately, every time I'm in the New Orleans area, I have very little chance to explore. But I do get in as much as I can! Even late at night, there are beautiful images everywhere.

Of course, right around the corner from the above building were sights I would've had a hard time photographing without requiring major edits to make appropriate for this family blog.

So instead, here's another image I captured!

Riding in a taxi to The New Orleans Charter Science & Mathematics High School (awesomely shortened to Sci High!), I was reminded of all this area is still recovering from after Hurricane Katrina.

For example, Sci High had to move out of its damaged building into what used to be an elementary school. Inside, it still has that feel, though they've made it their own.

It was very moving to hear about all the changes that were forced upon them, and how it's possible to use forced change an opportunity to rethink things and grow. Even the faculty restroom offered beautiful advice.

The students were wonderful to speak with, as usual.

During the Q&A, someone asked a question I've been asked a lot on this tour. "Why did you pick our school?" It was a simple question this time. Sometimes people continue that question, wondering if it was because someone thought there was a specific need at that school to get a handle on bullying.

The answer is no, but it's always a very thoughtful question. Every school, unfortunately, deals with this problem. Some more than others. But all sorts of factors went into choosing the schools. Some choices, if between a few schools in a state, simply came down to timing in relation to other schools. I personally told my publisher that I wanted to go to whichever schools seemed most excited about approaching this issue in a unique way.

The sad fact is, I've been getting a very skewed view of educational institutions on this tour. So many of the schools I'm visiting are ones that already look for unique ways to address all sorts of issues. Thankfully, I've been hearing from other schools who are following this tour, and they say they're now even more inspired to think outside the box regarding this issue.

Thanks for this shirt, Sci High!

And thanks for treating me to lunch, Octavia Books.

For dessert, we had the most delicious thing I've tasted in a long time: red bean ice cream between warm beignets.


Finally, here's another sign from that same faculty restroom that I had even more fun contemplating!

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