About Town MB: No Place for Hate

The Manhattan Beach Unified School District is about to become the first “No Place for Hate” school district in the region. 

The entire district will join the four elementary schools previously designated as No Place for Hate schools. Pennekamp Elementary, Manhattan Beach Middle School, and Mira Costa High School are slated to receive the same recognition from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) of Los Angeles upon completion of program requirements, making MBUSD the first school district in the ADL region to have all schools implement the program. In addition to the Los Angeles area, ADL LA includes Riverside, San Bernardino, and Kern Counties. 

The No Place for Hate initiative provides a student-led framework to combat bias, bullying, and hatred in the school community. Activities through the program address school-based issues and create long-term solutions to help build a more inclusive and positive school culture. 

“MBUSD prides itself on its focus on a climate of care on all campuses. I am so proud that our District will be the first in the ADL LA region to ever have all of its schools receive the No Place for Hate® designation,” said Sally Peel, president of the MBUSD Board of Education. “It is evident that our community sees this work as a high priority and is committed to promoting positive change.” 

As part of the program, schools establish a committee, sign a school-wide pledge against all forms of hate, and host a series of activities throughout the year that promote and remind everyone to respect one another. MBUSD school initiatives have been hosting assemblies celebrating cultural diversity, creating campaigns to spread kindness, and implementing safe spaces such as a “buddy bench.” 

“MBUSD remains focused on cultivating an environment where students can thrive and belong,” said MBUSD Superintendent John Bowes. “In 2017, MBUSD passed an Inclusion STAND UP Commitment with the goal of ensuring all staff, students, and their families feel welcome on our campuses. Becoming a No Place for Hate district recognizes our continued commitment to implementing school-wide initiatives and fostering a more inclusive environment.” 

No Place for Hate first launched in MBUSD with a pilot program at Robinson Elementary during the 2020-2021 school year. The school is now in its third year of the program. In June 2022, Grand View Elementary, Pacific Elementary, Robinson Elementary, and Meadows Elementary earned their designation, joining more than 1,800 schools across the nation. Along with the other schools, Pennekamp Elementary, Manhattan Beach Middle School, and Mira Costa High School are working towards designation in 2023. 

“The recent increase in Antisemitic and other biased language and behavior demonstrates an urgent need for preventative education to combat hate,” said Megan Nevels, Associate Education Director for ADL in Southern California. “We believe that education works as an antidote for hate and can go a long way to building a foundation for understanding and respect for diversity. All students deserve safe and inclusive learning environments and we hope MBUSD’s commitment will be a model for other school districts in Southern California.” 

ADL is among the leading anti-hate organizations in the world. Founded in 1913, its mission is “to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all.” ER 


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