“I am welcome here. You are welcoming here. Everyone is welcoming here,” shouted Curtis Guild Elementary School students in solidarity on June 12.
The Guild became the third school in the Boston Public School district and the 16th school in the country to receive the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Welcoming Schools Seal of Excellence, a nation-wide project that honors schools for their dedication to inclusion.
“This is an amazing accomplishment,” said Laura Perille, Interim Superintendent. “This is exactly the kind of collaboration of family and community that makes the Guild a welcoming school. I hope your award inspires more students to go the extra effort.”
The school was recognized for its outstanding efforts in creating a welcoming environment such as professional development training for staff, and classroom libraries stocked with books that celebrate diversity. Students have been learning about identity and gender equality, are discussing immigration, think critically about current events, and are encouraged to defend one another.
“We love our students and our community just the way they are,” asserted Principal Karen McCarthy. “This is a city that takes a stand. We are a more connected school than we were a few years ago. The Guild is a diverse community. We speak close to a dozen languages, practice different religions, come from different countries, and have different family structures. Our background is part of what makes us who we are.”
The Guild began collaborating with the Boston Public Schools (BPS) Office of Equity in August 2016 to develop a welcoming institution that fosters inclusion and works to abolish bias-based bullying.
Guild faculty and students prioritize respect and social justice. The school earned the Seal of Excellence because of its nurturing atmosphere that encourages individuality.
“Our goal every day is to make sure that anybody who comes to Boston feels welcome and knows we value who they are,” declared Mayor Martin Walsh. “That’s what makes Boston strong.”