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    Breaking Down the Walls


    Written By:

    Hannah Anderson

    Katelynn Dean


    “Don’t be little, be big.” These were some of the first words said at the Breaking Down The Walls (BDTW) event here at Newport High School.

    Stu Cabe, who led BDTW back in 2015 came back again to bring the message to our high school.

    In the three days that Stu was with us, he gave NHS a sense of closeness and helped form many new friendships and bonds between the students.

    The first day he visited, he spoke at an all-school assembly and told us stories about his daughter and other people in his life. The phrases “Butterfly people” and “Don’t be little, be big” were introduced.

    On the second day, half of the student body went into the gym to partake in bonding activities and hear Stu speak again. The other half spent the day watching movies that carried the theme of the event.

    The movies we watched had to do with bullying and how humans are scared of what they don't understand.

    We watched “Wonder”, which is about a boy who had a deformed face. He is starting school for the first time and gets made fun of. By the end of the story, the little boy made a couple of really loyal friends who stuck up for him when others tried to bully him.

    The other movie we watched was called  “Radio.” This movie was about a football team who picked on a boy with a mental disability.

    The coach decided to let the boy be the team manager. He was showing the football players that it is not right to treat people differently just because they are different.

    The takeaway from both movies was to not treat others like they don't matter just because you don't understand what they are going through.

    And the movies were only one part of BDTW.

    Stu’s impact on NHS was remarkable. Student Adam Moorhead said, “Even though I had already went to Breaking Down The Walls in 2015, I’ve gained more life experience since then and it’s really opened my eyes to others around me.”

    Many other students have had the same response, remarking on how impactful Stu and his motivational talks really are and what a change it brought to our school.

    Before Stu left, he reminded us that “people aren’t going to remember what you said. They’re going to remember how you made them feel.”  

    One exercise students participated in was the “line” exercise. Stu would state something like, “Cross the line if you have lost someone close to you in the past year.” Whoever that applied to would physically cross over a line and face the rest of the students.

    The purpose of that ice breaker was to make us more aware of the people around us and the situations they may find themselves in.

    “Learning about the students around you will ultimately help teach everyone how to better support and communicate with each other; this program can help further our school’s growing community towards a community of acceptance and compassion,” says Student Natalie Biggar after she spent a couple days with Stu.

    Emotions were high during the days Stu visited NHS. There were both smiles and tears, but everyone learned something from this experience. Students were able to see they were not alone in the various things they were struggling with.

    Ravyn Nelson, a senior, added, “It’s important to get to know someone before you put labels on them.”

    Breaking Down The Walls helped teach us just that.