The theme for the 185th Diocesan Convention of the Episcopal Church in Vermont was "Declare Dignity," with special guest, Dr. Donna Hicks, renowned author of Dignity: The Essential Role It Plays in Resolving Conflict. As our country is suffering such deep divisions, the Episcopal Church in Vermont wants to bring people together. Hicks' theory is that by treating one another with dignity, even in the midst of conflict, we can become more connected to one another and create meaningful relationships that allow us to resolve our conflicts without sacrificing our sense of self.
While Dr. Hicks' work is relatively new to us, it clearly fits in with what we do at Rock Point School. Two of our seniors, Jasmine and Caleb, (featured in the photo on the left with Bishop Tom Ely), spoke at Convention about their experience at Rock Point School and the impact it has had on their lives. Jasmine shared that she suffered from anxiety and bullying in her previous school, but immediately felt welcomed at Rock Point. Here is an excerpt from her speech:
Ever since stepping into the halls of this school, the social hardships from my old school don’t matter because I find a school where I’m accepted, and that’s the biggest healing of all ... First of all, it’s a bully free zone, but secondly, the way these students took me in was special. I had somewhere to go in the cafeteria, and found places where I could hang out without feeling hesitant or shy. The girls I share the dorm floor with have given me a sisterhood and friendship that makes me feel like I can talk about anything and everything. We tend to stay up chatting about those things in the bathroom. Like I said, life-changing experience. Wouldn’t have thought to talk in a bathroom! I like Rock Point as a school and social sphere because people aren’t afraid to be different, and they don’t mind if you’re different or unlike the typical preppy kid, or high school jock. We’ve all had our journeys, and a lot of us have ended up at this place. I think that speaks a lot about this school.
We are so grateful to Jasmine and Caleb for sharing their stories, and to the Episcopal Church in Vermont for listening and supporting Rock Point School.