Mix-It-Up Day is a national campaign launched by Teaching Tolerance a decade ago, Mix It Up at Lunch Day encourages students to identify, question and cross social boundaries.
In a survey, students identified the cafeteria as the place where divisions are most clearly drawn. So on one day – October 30 this school year – students are ask to move out of their comfort zones and connect with someone new over lunch. It’s a simple act with profound implications. Studies have shown that interactions across group lines can help reduce prejudice. When students interact with those who are different from them, biases and mis-perceptions can fall away.
Some folks began to express their concern because they believed the day was created to promote homosexuality.
Dan Tyree, Superintendent of Plymouth Schools called a roundtable meeting with the media, a couple of local pastors, high school administrators, two facilitators from New Tech and a couple of students last Friday.
In that meeting Tyree explained that he had previously been asked about Mix-It-Up Day and indicated that the school would not be participating. The next day he learned that the students in New Tech had decided to participate in the day as it went along with the religious tolerance project they are working on.
Project facilitators, Lisa Mercer and Grant Masson explained the project, “How Tolerant are You?” Students have investigated the five major religions and are creating an awareness campaign about other religions. Flyers were made to promote Mix-It-Up Day by the students.
Pastor Scott Yoder from Crossroads Evangelical Free Church said one of his members had discussed the event saying he thought it was promoting homosexuality in the school. After the discussion Yoder said he had researched the event and found nothing to do with homosexuality. He did suggest the school change the date and the facilitators said they would take it back to the class and see what their thoughts were on the idea.