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Timon High addresses diversity, inclusion with student-run committee

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Coach Jason Rowe, moderates a discussion of the DEI Committee at Bishop Timon – St. Jude High School. The committee looks at how the South Buffalo school can improve in areas of diversity, equity and inclusion. Photo by Patrick J. Buechi

Bishop Timon-St. Jude High School currently has the most diverse student body in its 75-year history. With that high-water mark comes a responsibility to treat each student fairly and equally. To that end, Timon has started a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee to make the culture and climate at the school better for all students.

In February, committee members read a short piece on a prominent figure in Black history as part of Black History Month over the morning announcements, hoping to share information that would be moving, educational and supportive. Each piece led to discussion of figures their peers might never have heard before. 

In March, they shifted the concept to important women for Women’s History Month.

The student-driven committee meets every two weeks to discuss current events as well as the climate at school. Recent topics include student -teacher relations and ways to get extra help after class. The main goal is to make sure everyone who enters the doors of 601 McKinley Pkwy. feels as they are being welcomed and belong. 

“I’m involved in Diversity Club because I feel that, even though some kids may not feel equal, we all want them to feel equal. I want that brotherhood to keep going as years go on even after I’m out of Timon,” said Jaden Jennings, the recently elected senior class officer. “I’ve seen everybody come together closer. Since last year, I’ve seen everybody communicate better than have before. Everybody has been coming together, talking to each other, saying hello to each other in the hallway. Everybody speaks to each other now.”

 “I’m involved because there is a change happening in the world,” said Sean Glinski, junior class officer. “It’s kids our age, kids with our mindset that need to be the leaders of the change and the movement that is going on, not only in our school, but across the country in general. We all got to get better. We all got to make sure that everyone’s included and accepted how they are.”

Committee members say there isn’t a problem with intentional exclusion at the school, but some people may feel they don’t have a voice to offer.

“There are some people who don’t feel included. That’s very important to DEI because the I stands for inclusion, said Nick Stein, vice president. “To be equitable, which is what the E stands for, that means we have to make sure everyone’s needs are met. If we don’t do that, we’re not being inclusive.”

Jason Rowe, the school’s assistant athletic director and co-DEI coordinator, said bullying and exclusion do not happen in the school. “It’s just a matter of improving. Just because there is no problem doesn’t mean you can’t improve.”

DEI was formed in cooperation with the Education Collaborative of Western New York. EdCo prepares students for the future by providing its unique partner schools with opportunities for collaboration, a forum for sharing ideas, and a structure for advocating the values of private education. Partner schools offer quality education to area students and provide excellent choices to families seeking an independent school experience.

To hear to DEI Committee speak about the program, visit

http://www.facebook.com/bishop.timon.st.jude.high?ref=tn_tnmns.

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