Nov. 29, 2018
Class of 1988 chooses KIND
The Upper St. Clair High School Class of 1988 recently celebrated its 30-year reunion. Held on Nov. 3, the event was just days after the tragedy at the Tree of Life Synagogue. As a unified statement against hate and bullying, more than 50 alumni and their former teachers gathered in front of the high school for a photo with their #ChooseKind shirts.
“Reunions are always emotional, but this particular tour event morphed into something very special with the addition of the anti-bullying sentiment via the Choose Kind T-shirts and the inclusion of our former teachers,” Shannon George, class of 1988 alumna and event organizer, said. “We went from about 15 people who attended just a regular school tour 10 years ago to roughly 100 with alumni and teachers combined this year. Given the recent Squirrel Hill tragedy, it was extra special to come together in a way that showed support for our students and one another.”
At classmate Stephen Chbosky's request, Lionsgate Films donated 175 T-shirts to the alumni and teacher anti-bullying event. Stephen co-wrote and directed the film version of the best-seller “Wonder” and authored and directed “The Perks of Being a Wallflower.”
“One thing making the movie ‘Wonder’ taught me is that kindness belongs to no group. And, respect is not reserved for the people we agree with,” Stephen added.
“Wonder,” a story of kindness and inclusion, inspired the #ChooseKind anti-bullying campaign. One of the story’s most powerful quotes comes from Dr. Wayne W. Dyer and reads, “When given the choice between being right and being kind, choose kind.”
“Seeing all of my classmates in the Choose Kind T-shirts brought it all back home to me,” Stephen said. “Upper St. Clair schools taught me to read, to write, to dream. I consider myself deeply fortunate to have grown up in such an inspiring community.”