PHOTOS: The halls of Barrington High School will feature photos of teachers with their mouths taped shut. Surprisingly the idea was not dreamed up by a frustrated student body.
Educators from the Chicago suburb are the latest participants in the NOH8 Campaign, in a project organized by the school’s gay-straight alliance, United Colors, and sponsored by math teacher Tony Venetico.
“The duct tape symbolizes all the students who are silenced because of discrimination and bullying.. We want to bring awareness to treat each other with respect. We’re here to learn, not to pick on each other,” Venetico told Patch.
The photos, taken by BHS senior Matt Weidner, were inspired by the national NOH8 Campaign, a response to the passage of Proposition 8. But Venetico said that BHS teachers are not taking a political stance on marriage equality, but rather trying to stem the tide of bullying, which he says has gotten worse because of social media.
“Our spin on it is for all kids who are discriminated against. There are lesbian and gay students who feel discriminated, but this is universal. There are so many students that don’t fit in, maybe they’re overweight or they’re dealing with depression. They’re afraid to come to school. So many students feel so alone,” he said. “We’re trying to make it more of a welcoming place.”
Photos: Barrington School District’s Facebook/Matthew Weidner Photography