THGC Supports John Jay High School
John Jay High School is a familiar name at the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission. In last year's annual Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month Student Video Contest, John Jay High School and John Jay Science and Engineering Academy had the highest number of student participants overall. More than fifty students made group videos addressing the prompt: "Creating a More Just World." One video, "4 Reasons," won the Silver Key; three received Bronze prizes and eight received Honorable Mentions. Students addressed topics such as homelessness, not being a bystander, and the power of love.
Recently, much of the United States has become familiar with John Jay High School as well - and, unfortunately, for a very different reason. Many people reacted with disgust and anger at the now viral video showing two John Jay football players purposefully tackling a referee during a game. We were equally as shocked and disappointed by this footage. Because of the caring, thoughtful, and ethical work we saw in the John Jay submissions, we know that the few students involved in this negative incident do not represent the culture and values of the school as a whole.
There is still much work to do in the state of Texas to educate young people about ethical decision-making and doing the right thing. At the THGC, we strive to engage young people in meaningful ways, to get them thinking critically about right and wrong, and to consider the history behind the Holocaust and other genocides. That's why this year's Student Video Contest is all about investigation and awareness. Students will choose one modern genocide to research, and then give updates on the current situation.
We hope that students who participate this year will learn about the consequences of even the smallest actions, and how they can instead be a part of a positive force for good - and we know that the submissions from students at John Jay High School will be strong contenders for this year's Gold.