Junior Haley Contereras was a bit surprised Wednesday morning when she, along with the rest of her classmates at Wausau East High School, learned their classes for the day had been cancelled. But that didn't mean they got to go home. They had a full day ahead of them. A day teachers and staff have been calling "A Day of Compassion."
One of the biggest factors in determining a child's success in school is a feeling of belonging.That's why teachers did away with their usual lesson plans to teach an even bigger lesson, acceptance. Wednesday's lesson featured special speakers and activities designed to break down barriers and show students how they're more alike than different. For instance, at lunch time students were assigned to a table then challenged to find five things they had in common with those sitting at their table.
Contreras says that today definitely changed the way she thinks of high school.
"I think it teaches us as a group we need to quit being like cliques and groups and just kind of come together and be able to talk to everybody and have conversations and not have any labels on anybody,"Contreras told NewChannel 7.
Another of the day's highlights, painting a mural of hand prints. Organizers and students say the mural represents the fact that although every student is different they are still one.