Conard students and staff spent the week of Valentine's Day celebrating the message that "Love is Louder," broadening the meaning of the day typically associated with love.
The week started with this morning announcement over the intercom: "This week Conard is proclaiming that 'love and support are louder than any internal or external voice that brings us down.' So join with your class and with your peers this week to raise the volume on fostering a climate of respect for everyone."
The moving "Love is Louder" video, made by Brittany Snow and MTV, was created in response to the tragedy in Sandy Hook, and was used as inspiration for Conard's campaign. According to the organization's website, Love is Louder is "a movement of all types of people who have come together to raise the volume around the message that love and support are louder than any internal or external voice that brings us down."
Its goal is to support "anyone feeling mistreated, misunderstood or alone," and the movement's message is being by schools and other groups to address issues like bullying and negative self-image.
Hallways and cafeteria windows were decorated with messages about the movement. Conard staff donated supplied and students in the Intro Foods classes made 114 ham and turkey sandwiches, which were donated to the House of Bread in Hartford.
Teacher Kimberly Deep-McNamara praised the contributions of George Angeles and Becca Shafer, who attended Safe School Climate Committee meetings and were student leaders representing the Anytown action club. The two students, who represent Conard's Gay Straight Alliance (GSA), made flyers, delegated tasks, and provided vital follow-through to many of the week's activities.
Students in each class were asked to wear a certain color on Wednesday in support of the movement. Although the campaign lasted all week, the message was most prominent on Valentine's Day, when the entire community wore red.
"On Thursday, Valentines Day, we are trying to broaden the meaning of the day by spreading love beyond exclusive relationships," said Conard history teacher Tracey Wilson.