EAGLE ROCK, LOS ANGELES - Eagle Rock Junior and Senior High School was awarded a $1,000 award by the Sandy Hook Promise for the campus community's effort to end bullying and rejection.
The funds were presented by Nicole Hockley, cofounder of the organization. Sandy Hook Elementary was the site of the 2012 shooting rampage that left 20 first-graders dead. Hockley's son, Dylan, was one of the victims.
"When you're by yourself and when you're feeling alone knowing that someone else just sees you and kind of validates you and knows that you are not invisible - that is incredibly important," she said.
She said the Eagle Rock school stood out for integrating inclusiveness into activities and the students who have taken the lead.
"We've approached kids to ask them, 'How is your day?' And they'll say, 'Oh, I'm OK.' But they won't look you in the eye and to me that kind of signals they're not OK and kids lie," junior Brittney Velt said.
The students' goal is to make sure more schools follow in their footsteps. They hope something as simple as saying "hello" to a fellow classmate can prevent future acts of violence.