Stissing Mountain Middle/High School has always been very active with its student body. Through events and activities held at the school, such as Ag Day, Faculty Follies, Reindeer Games, and Bias Day, students have the ability to connect and interact with their peers and student body more than if they were in classrooms all day.
Bias Day is an all-day event where high school students, teachers, and faculty come together through the process of relationship building activities, interactive speeches, educational videos and art projects. Tara Horst, Stissing Mountains building high school principal, is one of the main reasons Bias Day is possible. She supports and brings aid to enable the school to put on this event.
Alongside Mrs. Horst is James Childs, the speaker and presenter of the Bias Day program here at Stissing Mountain. Through the use of James’s educational presentation, he is able to talk to and interact with the student body while keeping everyone’s full cooperation and attention. Following his presentation, Mrs. Horst and Mr. Childs have the students go into mixed groups of students of all ages, races, grade levels and popularity, to interact and cooperate in activities to help students that may not normally interact have the chance to meet new people and maybe gain new friendships and outlooks on life.
Throughout the day, students and staff interact in numerous games and activities. One activity that is done is an art collage. These collages are meant to depict how people interact with each other and why they act the way we do around others. Another activity that takes place during Bias Day is the “Friendship Bridge.” This activity is very simple but meaningful, students in the group line up with a partner facing them. Everyone then joins hands and one at a time, students and staff walk through the bridge knowing that there are always friends there when they need them. Once you have passed through the bridge, you join your partner at the end of the bridge to keep it going, symbolizing that these friendships are non-stop.
Finally, there is the “Fruit Bowl Mixer.” This activity is an ice breaker to the whole Bias Day experience. Each student is assigned a “fruit” and a colored floor tile associated with their specific fruit. Once their fruit is called, they must leave their tile and find another tile of the same color, much like musical chairs, except if you’re the one without a tile, you can tell who you are to the group and then call another fruit, to continue the process. This activity allows students to interact and be social with students they may have not been involved with in the past.
In the end, Bias Day, by being able to bring students and staff closer together, relationships can build and new friendships can form. Bias Day also lets students interact with people of different interests, cultures, ages, and races to help aid in what is to come after high school. By being able to expose students to diversity before they are out of school, students can figure out how to form bonds with friends and steer away from general stereotypes and bias’s that are in today’s society.