Say Something Week comes to OPHS

Forum held for student discussion


Emily Francis/Talon

Counselor Jennifer Charrett gives a presentation during Say Something Week.

In remembrance of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting which took place on Dec. 14, 2012 in Connecticut, the parents of students who were killed created the Sandy Hook Promise. Their goal is to protect children from gun violence like the tragedy that took place on that day.

According to the Sandy Hook Promise website, “By uniting people of all beliefs and backgrounds who value the protection of children to take meaningful actions in their homes and communities, we will prevent gun violence and stop the tragic loss of life.”

On March 4, Oak Park High School administration, teachers and counselors held an open student forum to review warning signs of depression and possible acts of violence in schools.

According to Counselor Jenny Charrett OPHS wanted to honor Say Something Week because when students aren’t connected to others or in a good place and they don’t feel like they have support systems then there’s more concern with the possibility of self harm or harm to others.

“We want to prevent tragedies but more importantly we want people to feel good and feel connected and feel like they have people that understand them and listen to them and value them,” Charrett said.

The goal of the student forum was to discuss how to stay safe in school and what to do in response to warning signs. Students were encouraged to wear green, the official color of Say Something week.

“I think it’s important to know and understand all of the warning signs that students may exhibit because in this world and in society it’s really easy to forget about our peers,” junior Ethan Grinberg said. “I think this event helps us understand more about the world that we live in and possibly prevents future tragedies or just helps people in general.”

According to Grinberg, it can be very easy to lose sight of the other people around you and just be focused on your own world.

“By reaching out to other people, you can better yourself as a person, make new connections and potentially change someone else’s life and help them turn themselves around too,” Grinberg said.

The Safe School Ambassadors have put together a leadership team that is brainstorming ideas to help find ways to build these connections.

“[The Safe School Ambassador program] is really taking the time right now to observe and gather those ideas so that we can launch into more things for next year,” Charrett said. “I think this is a good starting place for us, but it’s really bringing ideas together for next year.”

Charret emphasized that saying something is not just about telling on people. The main takeaway for students, she hopes, is just the idea of talking with others and connecting.

“You make a difference — see something, say something, and choose to be kind to one another,” Charrett said.