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Queens Chronicle

SCHOOL SPOTLIGHT The Girl Up Club at Hillcrest High School fights against sexual harassment

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Posted: Thursday, January 4, 2018 10:30 am

 The Girl Up Club at Hillcrest High School in Jamaica is currently working to raise awareness about sexual harassment of girls and boys. It has been functioning for five years under the leadership of Guidance Counselor Regine Dejean from the Academy of Media, Arts & Music, which is one of the nine Small Learning Communities into which Hillcrest High School is divided.

Jordette Cummings, left, is the president of the Hillcrest Girl Up Club. She explained that the club members have a pumpkin bowl which has little blue slips with descriptions of sexual harassment. Students in the school lobby and the lunchroom are encouraged to take a slip as a way to educate themselves about sexual harassment and to speak out if it is happening. Some examples of what is on the blue slips are: It’s not okay that 42 percent of girls and 34 percent of boys have had sexual rumors spread about them,” it’s not okay that 83 percent of girls and 60 percent of boys report experiencing sexual harassment in school,” it’s not okay to make sexual jokes or remarks. Students are encouraged to Speak Up! Tell an adult!

Sumaya Kabir, right, is a member of the Girl Up Club and is a reporter for the Hillcrest High School student newspaper, The Highlighter, for which she is writing a story on the topic. She explained that the club holds meetings which distinguish between harmless flirting and actual sexual harassment. They try to get victims to empower themselves ... to speak out. The club members wear a blue ribbon on a safety pin, which is the symbol of the fight against sexual harassment.

Other school happenings:

Student Profile: Chaaya Jonathan

Chaaya Jonathan, a resident of Ozone Park, is a junior in Hilcrest High School. She is a student government assistant who helps adviser Ms. Haydee Recinos, along with other student leaders, in activities such as the On Track Senior Pep Rally, the annual blood drive, Senior Week, UNICEF collections during Halloween and the Coat Drive d has been in the Leadership an Class for two years. One special task she has is to go to Principal David Morrison’s Office each morning and make announcements to the school on the public address system. She is thinking of attending La Guardia Community College and becoming a therapist.

Students visit Margaret Teitz Nursing and Rehabilitation Center

 Students from the Health Sciences Small Learning Community in Hillcrest HS recently visited Margaret Teitz Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, not far from the school, where they performed community service. They met with the residents and talked to them, played games with them, listened to music and provided social warmth. Coordinating the event were Director of the Health Sciences SLC Gloria Zotti and nursing teacher Ann Utke. All Hillcrest HS students are required to perform 100 hours of community service prior to graduation.

For School Spotlight info:

call Lisa LiCausi, Education Coordinator,

at (718) 205-8000, Ext. 110.

Online go to


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