Linden High School came together in a strong show of support for Ukraine on Friday, March 11, as hundreds of staff and students left class to join the “Stand Up for Peace” event in the school hallways.
Three seniors who hail from Ukraine – Khrystyna Sul, Andriy Martsiyash, and Solomiya Malanyuk – were at the heart of the movement, holding a Ukrainian flag and standing by an “LHS Students for Peace” display. The front hallway and lobby were decorated with giant paper sunflowers, and sunflowers that students had colored hung throughout the school.
“This is completely a student-led movement,” said Principal Yelena Horré. “Students came to me with the idea of wanting to support the people of Ukraine who have been displaced. They were looking for hope, for a way to do something to help the families and everyone there.”
Many staff members and students showed their support by wearing blue and yellow, the colors of the Ukrainian flag, or lapel pins that students had crocheted and sold as a fundraiser for Ukraine.
During the demonstration, the Ukrainian national anthem was played throughout the school, then everyone observed a moment of silence to honor those who have been killed.
The school is collecting donations to send to Ukraine, including clothes, medical supplies, and non-perishable food. There are collection boxes in the front lobby of each building at LHS, as well as in other schools throughout the Linden Public Schools district. The good are going to be given to Meest-America, a shipping company that has halted regular operations to send relief supplies to Ukraine.
“I’m just proud of our students,” Horré said. “It has always been the young voices that have brought about change and social justice. And that’s what this is, student voices speaking up for peace. We want a world that embraces peace.”