The Awakening of the Diversity Acceptance Program

Mrs Davidoff: SHS history teacher (Facing History, US history), JV girls soccer coach, and DAPS advisor

Jamie Simmerson

Mrs Davidoff: SHS history teacher (Facing History, US history), JV girls soccer coach, and DAPS advisor

Jamie Simmerson, Contributing Writer

The Diversity Acceptance Program awakens as staff and students return to school full time. Mrs. Davidoff, as one of the main advisors, provides insight on her future plans, predictions and hopes for the Diversity Acceptance Program. Due to the pandemic, DAPS was limited with ways to arrange activities and meetings. Now, more and more opportunities are opening up for DAPS. 

Q: What is DAPS, and what are your plans this fall regarding meetings and other activities?

A: DAPS stands for “Diversity Acceptance Program,” and this was started many years ago, and the purpose of the club is to create an environment where kids of all different backgrounds, cultures, religions, races and genders feel comfortable coming and expressing that part of their identity. So this fall, we have several meetings planned, in which we’ll explore different issues that are socially present in our country, maybe as well as globally. I think our goal is to create some type of platform for kids to express their interests and concerns socially in terms of what they’ve been seeing. In the future more toward spring, we always do a larger discussion panel, in which we try to reach out to other clubs and represent this from other clubs, and poster the social issues we’ve been discussing throughout the year in our own club. 


Q: Do you plan on arranging inclusive field trips or events?

A: Currently, we’ve done a food bank in the past, and I think we’re looking forward to bringing that back once in the fall and once again in the spring. Although, depending on Covid and regulations, we’ll have to see what allows things to happen. And, we are looking for some new leadership in our club this year. So, really the inspiration and the vision of the club ties with the new officers and members in this club in the 2021 school year. 


Q: How did you first get involved with running the club?

A: A few years ago, Mrs. Trocchio used to be the advisor of this club, and she was looking to do other avenues. So, Mr. Jeter and myself expressed interest mainly because of our own humanitarian passion. And seeing this club as a way for students to express and to share their own experiences, including cultural experiences, as an organization.  


Q: Why is diversity and acceptance personally important to you?

A: I think especially now in our more recent political climate, we see the polarization of people, and my personal view is that people are willing to use different social media platforms to express negativity toward one another. This is mostly because it isn’t a face to face interaction. I’m a huge humanitarian, and I guess I’m this whole “peace message,” and I think when I see people being so mean to each other, I don’t understand why. And again, looking for what we have in common with one another versus our differences and how we can connect with each other because of our commonalities. 

Q: What are your plans for continuing DAPS at SHS for the future?

A: We’ve kind of struggled with this in the past, so this is why I’m very excited for this year, it largely is in the hands of the student body. So, I think finding students who are activists and want to use this club as a platform to share and express their views and to make some positive social change. And, maybe, that change in our own school building, our own community. So, really I’m looking for students who want this drive and want to create a club to then last into the future, that delivers that message of acceptance and the importance of expecting each other for our differences and how we can learn from our differences. 

Mrs. Davidoff delivers her purpose and passion for DAPS with hopes to draw in students who have that same desire to respect people’s differences and similarities. Students who are able to collaborate and communicate with one another will produce effective conversations. Mrs. Davidoff expresses that DAPS can create a more comfortable and secure environment at SHS.