Bethlehem Seniors Prank School with a Call for Peace and Tolerance
Bethlehem seniors did something very cool in lieu of the traditional senior prank. From the school's website:
As school officials wondered and anticipated what the Class of 2016 might have in store for them as a “senior prank” during the final days of classes at Bethlehem Central High School, they got something they never could have predicted: a school decorated with peace signs and pinwheels in an impromptu and moving tribute to victims of terrorism and hate in Orlando.
“There was a lot of talk on social media but of all the ideas we had we settled on doing something positive,” said Desiree Larivee, who was among a handful of students who helped spearhead the effort with a group of classmates.
“We decided on a peaceful tribute to the victims from Orlando,” said Anna Sanzone.
The “something positive” included posting paper peace signs and the names and photos of the known victims. The students also purchased and set up 49 pinwheels near a flag that now flies at half mast in front of the school and staged a musical celebration of life in the school’s sunniest corridor near the gym.
Students who helped organize the tribute on the morning of Monday, June 13 were surprised by the huge turnout by their peers.
“It was last minute and it just spread,” said Ella Levasalmi. “We told people to stop by between second and third period and there had to be more than 100 people who were here singing and just paying tribute.”
In the time between classes, a group of musicians gathered in the hallway and played The Beatles “Let it Be” and “Imagine” by John Lennon. They handed out lyrics so their classmates could sing along.
“Our goal was to spread peace through music,” said Steven Okoniewski, who spent much of Sunday evening gathering musicians and choosing and practicing the music they would perform. “We felt it was important.”
Bethlehem’s Interim Principal Mike Klugman said the school’s faculty and staff were moved by the decision made by the Class of 2016 to leave their mark in such an meaningful way.
My hat (if I wore one) would be off to this incredible group of kids who put together a moving piece about the massacre in Orlando rather than the usual school prank. In light of the horrific news out of Orlando, these kids decided to do something more important, more meaningful, than the usual school prank. These are scary times we live in, and the fact that these kids were moved to do this shows real character. Great work, Bethlehem!