As Broward County continues to pick up the pieces following the recent tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the students of CCHS have come together to strive toward healing during “Unity Week.”
Throughout the week of March 5, students wore different colors on each day to express their support for a variety of causes. Students donned purple for peace on Monday, red for love on Tuesday, blue for social media positivity on Wednesday, pink for kindness on Thursday and maroon and silver to support MSD on Friday. Ribbons tied on trees in the courtyard and streamers hung from pavilions matched the students in their effort to spread good feelings across campus.
After the cancellation of the Sadie Hawkins dance, the members of CCHS Student Government Association (SGA) wanted to transform the corresponding spirit week into a period of reflection and positivity. In their leadership class, the SGA officers brainstormed possible causes to raise awareness for during Unity Week, and soon began to spread the word and the love.
In their leadership class, the SGA officers brainstormed possible causes to raise awareness for during Unity Week, and soon began to spread the word and the love.
“[SGA] realized that what we need now is love and support from each other,” SGA First Vice-President Isabella Tocci said. “We are a community of such strong student leaders and Unity Week is a time to put our ideas in motion and come together to ensure that as a whole we stay strong during this dark time.”
As part of Unity Week, students were given white paper doves on which they were asked to write messages of peace to be displayed indoors and outdoors around campus. Additionally, SGA made silver and maroon ribbons for each student to wear on Friday to honor the victims of the tragedy at MSD.
“We want to make sure that no one feels isolated or left out on our campus,” Tocci said. “The Cowboys are a family and Unity Week is a time to celebrate that.”
CCHS students were set to gather on the football field and release 17 doves in honor of the 17 victims on Wednesday during fourth period, but this event was cancelled due to inclement weather.
Students continued to participate in Unity Week activities on Thursday and Friday, when personalization classes were called down to the auditorium to watch performances. Members of National Honor Society, Multicultural Club and chorus put on a showcase that included dance routines, poems, raps and songs centered around the theme of unity.
“We had amazing performers… all who shared their voices on important matters in the world. These performers… will not only bring our student body together, but [will] allow them to think and view different perspectives on the issues that we are facing.”
“We had amazing performers… all who shared their voices on important matters in the world,” Multicultural Club President Ayana Fitzgerald said. “These performers… will not only bring our student body together, but [will] allow them to think and view different perspectives on the issues that we are facing.”
Assistant Principal Vera Perkovic, who has been spearheading the kindness campaign alongside SGA for two years, helped to coordinate Unity Week. Perkovic spent the week encouraging others to engage in acts of kindness, emphasizing the impact that even the smallest actions, such as holding the door for or paying a compliment to someone, can have. The songs played over the speakers each morning, which matched the theme of the day, were her own personal contribution.
“From the students that I spoke to I think it’s been really well received because it’s a message about peace, love, being there for one another and kindness all in one,” Perkovic said. “I think it’s something that we definitely do here at Cooper and it’s been really great to come together as one.”
Photo by Sarah Khan