This week, Guam’s high schools were placed in the spotlight but one school has stepped up and says enough is enough!
For an entire week now, Tiyan High School officials and students led a spirited “wave” which condemns school violence and calls for unity and positivity.
Freda Arii, Tiyan High School Administrator, said that ever since Tiyan High School opened, they wanted to stress the importance of family.
“And so with the Unity Wave, we wanted to also let students know from the beginning of the day, we are here to support you. The students are here as your brothers and sisters. The admin, the teachers and staff, para-educators, we are here also to support you if you need our help,” Arii said.
Rommel Losinio, ABS Adviser, said Tiyan High has its own culture. “And this culture is made up of so many different ethnicities, other cultures…but we all make it work because we all wanna be a family. I think the wave is just an outward expression of that — you know — unity and we wanted to remind everybody that we are here. WE are here for everybody, regardless of where you come from, your SCC or your socio-economic background,” Losinio said.
Angellee Urlanda, ABS President, said this week they wanted to do something to bring back positive vibes and really encourage everyone to unite.
“So what we have been doing is have students volunteer to wave outside at the drop-off area, with posters and other things that would promote peace and unity in our school,” Urlanda said.
Tera Blas, ABS Vice President, said that every morning they would arrive at 6 a.m. “And then we stay until the bell rings to start. We just say good morning to everybody. The parents enjoy it too because all of them are waving back to us, honking. It is just a nice feeling in the morning. Start the day off right,” Blas said.
Other ABS members also shared their thoughts about being part of the wave.
Casey Rosario, ABS Public Relations Officer said, “It brings our school together and everyday that we had done it, since Monday, we are gradually getting more smiles, more responses. It makes the students feel good and it makes us feel good as well.”
Ricci Fuellas, ABS Parliamentarian: “It gives me a reason to go to school early so that I can see people smile and I get to say good morning multiple times.”
VJ Rosario, ABS Parliamentarian: “I believe that one simple complement can make a person’s day.”
Aeris San Agustin, ABS Treasurer: “It is a direct contribution to our school community, like our family. It always feels nice to do a good gesture for people. It makes me feel good and it makes them feel good.”
In addition to the unity wave, the group is planning for more events that incorporate positivity and cultural integration.
“Sometimes it is easy for the public to be fixated on the negative and things happen in certain schools that may not look positive out in the media or social media. But this is just a reminder to the community — that there are a lot of good things that happen here. There are a lot of good students, good faculty and staff, good parents that are out there — that support various initiatives at the school,” Arii said.