Combating Intolerance Students Honored with FCPS Student Peace Award


(Courtesy @WestPoCI via Twitter) The 2016-2017 Combating Intolerance Class.

West Potomac’s elective Combatting Intolerance, taught by history teacher Robert Kerr, received a Peace Award at the Student Peace Awards of Fairfax County for the work the class has done.

The aim of the class is to discuss current issues and spread positive messages throughout the school about acceptance and tolerance. Seniors Itiola Akingbola and Kylie McNulty along with sophomore Samapti Barua were chosen by Kerr to represent the class in receiving the award.

“I hope that this award serves as a symbol of what our class has accomplished as of now,” Akingbola said. “I also hope that it serves as motivation for the future Combating Intolerance classes.”

The awards were given three weeks ago. This was the first year Combatting Intolerance was offered as an elective.

“I joined Combating Intolerance because I knew the class would help me become more aware of the world and what I can do to help it,” McNulty said. “It’s something I knew I needed to start thinking about by my senior year.” 

An example of Combating Intolerance’s work is their sponsorship of a “Diversity Spirit Week,” which, included wearing green, which is traditionally associated with Islam, against Islamophobia, and red to represent the Hispanic community

Our class is very proud of how much we’ve achieved at West Potomac High School and proud to be recognized with many others in our county that are making their impact on their schools and around the world,” Barua said.

Kerr said he chose the three students in particular to represent the class in receiving the award because they represent the diversity of the class.

“This set of students really deserve recognition for their great work because they all work way above their age level to do work that many adults do in the “real world,” said Kerr. “I hope that my future classes take their example, build off of the great work that we’ve started and continue making West Potomac, Alexandria, Virginia, the United States and the world a better, more inclusive and accepting place to live.”