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SEPTEMBER 29, 1997


FADE fighting bigotry in schools

  by Andrew Walgamott
   WOODINVILLE--Members of FADE, Falcons Against Discrimination Everywhere, took two days off from school early last week to attend a challenging workshop to learn tactics to fight discrimination at their schools and in the community.
   "It's all about respecting your peers, making people respect who they are," Jeanne Allen, Woodinville High School ASB secretary said of the workshop training. The workshop, taught by the Anti-Defamation League, included 43 members of FADE, students from Woodinville High School, and Timbercrest and Leota junior highs.
   Under the title, "A world of difference," the program aims at raising kid's awareness about discrimination and its effects upon society, recognizing that differences do exist and providing techniques to combat prejudices. Over the two days, students learned to be teachers, to take the message that discrimination won't be tolerated back to their peers.
   Among activities students worked with was a version of Trivial Pursuit called Cultural Pursuit. As an icebreaker, participants were asked to circulate around a room and find others who knew "what lumpia is" and "what Nisei means." Lumpia is a Philippine eggroll while Nisei means first-generation Japanese-American.
   Students later formed an action plan to fight discrimination as well. Some ideas included having a Martin Luther King assembly in January, commending those who've taken stands against intolerance, and highlighting different cultures over morning school announcements. Allen said that the workshop required a lot of thinking, and was "draining."
   FADE came together last spring when WHS students Andrew Dawe, Amanda McGall and Arla Cappellitti approached 10th and 12th-grade English teacher Mary Britton-Simmons. McGall said the students picked Britton-Simmons because they'd heard she was involved in fighting discrimination at other schools. Britton-Simmons formerly taught at Bothell High School. Last spring, she took the three students to a Seattle ADL conference and afterwards, the group formed FADE.
   FADE grew to 43 students over the summer and remains student-driven, according to Britton-Simmons.
   Though members cite homophobia, religious bias and economic classism as being the major forms of intolerance at WHS, a recent incident where an 11th-grade Caucasian female was called unprintable racial slurs by unknown males highlights the need to target intolerance in the community.
   According to Tracy Fjellanger, a WHS senior, the FADE workshop wasn't a one-time event. She wants to take the program, albeit simpler versions, to the junior high and elementary levels. To support the ADL workshop, FADE latched onto $2,500 in grants from King County, the Northshore/Shoreline Health and Safety Network as well as Medicaid.
   Caren Monastersky, one of the ADL counselors, said that similar programs existed in 29 U.S. cities as well as world-wide. Since 1985, she said 1,200 students had gone through ADL training. Allen said that through her ASB involvement, she could take FADE's message to assemblies, and direct classmates to help. "We're trying to figure out a positive way to fix the problem (of discrimination)," Allen said.
   Of the student's action plan, Britton-Simmons said there were a lot of good suggestions, but added if the students were able to accomplish three, she'd be impressed. "From a teacher's standpoint, this is an amazing group of students to work with," Britton-Simmons said.
   All involved hope to continue the FADE program.\