Bath High School chalkboards fight bullying, plan to bury slurs

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Posters of students holding chalkboards with insults line a school wall.
Students reclaim respect for themselves and others by showing insults that have been used against them. The slurs are then covered over with affirming sticky notes

BATH – Throughout the hallways of Bath High School hang large black-and-white portraits of students and teachers holding a chalkboard. On the chalkboard, participants wrote an insult they have been called. Profanities were uncensored, showcasing the discomfort and hurt that comes with getting bullied. 

“Worthless,” “whore,” “too dark,” “boring,” “not good enough,” “slut,” “loser. ”

These are only a few of the words lining the hallways.

Student representative Jordyn Lira described the “Chalkboard Project” at the March 20 school board meeting. “They are currently just the original pictures. On April 3 we’re going to be going around and having the celebration where we cover all the negative stuff with all the positive stuff,” said Lira.

To rally against bullying and showing empathy, students will walk throughout the hallways placing sticky notes over the negative comments on the chalkboards. These sticky notes will give compliments and kind words to students suffering the effects of bullying. 

The board meeting also featured details of the new construction planned at the elementary, middle, and high schools in Bath.

The elementary school will be getting a new public address system, as the current one is outdated. It was identified in the security review as an area in need of updating. 

“The new PA system will allow teachers to amplify their voices within the room while teaching, it will allow videos or other multimedia that is being shown to be played through the PA speakers within the room,” said Superintendent Paul Hartsig. “It also, and this is very important, serves as a way for teachers to contact the office immediately if there is an issue in or near their room.” 

The new system is pricey, but it is needed for safety. It will cost upward of $200,000. $117,000 of that will be paid with a grant from the state, while the remainder of the cost will come from the 2016 bond.

More money will be needed to put toward Bath Middle School.

The outside of the southwest wall of the middle school needs  repair. The wall has settled, but “temporary supports have been put in as a caution.” This repair job has been quoted as $105,700 and will take place this summer.

Bath High School will be receiving a new gymnasium floor where competition sports are held. A new design for the floor was selected by coaches, athletic directors, staff and the booster program. 

“This will be the first time the floor has been sanded and refinished since it was put in,” said Hartsig. 

Construction of the gymnasium floor began March 20, with no specified time of completion.

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