Spiritual reward of the No Place for Hate assembly (plus, an Xbox)


Ana Costanzo

Rather than sitting in an auditorium, elbow to elbow with a stranger where students greet repose more warmly than school-sponsored speakers, Mohammad Assad attended the No Place for Hate virtual assembly on Jan. 11 from his own home and screen. Moreover, Assad not only welcomed the pre-recorded lectures by Tony Hawk, Magic Johnson, Dixie D’Amelio, David Dobrik, and Anthony Anderson, but also welcomed (unexpectedly) the prize of an Xbox or $500 cash prize. 

“I decided to attend…because I didn’t really have anything else planned…,” wrote Assad for The Page, further stating he preferred the virtual assembly over a live discussion because “it was easier to understand the speakers; when I want to, I can always rewatch the video.” 

Attending the webinar also meant the possibility of winning the aforementioned prizes. “I didn’t go because I had hopes of winning the contest (I was…surprised I won), but because I felt it would have been interesting to go refresh myself with learning how to take action against bullying.” 

While not having a favorite speaker, Assad recounted his takeaways from the assembly: to remember the unique ability of individuality; to never force a smile and instead willingly share kindness (“just saying one kind word to someone can change a person’s entire day”); to reach out for support; to consider other perspectives; to not worry about judgment or other’s opinions (“those opinions aren’t affecting your life; you’re making them affect your life”); and to never degrade another person to satisfy ego. 

Furthermore, his favorite lesson is “you should embrace the things that make you unique and who you are and don’t let people’s words make you feel you need to change.” 

Coupled with this insight on kindness, positive communication, and self-wellness, Assad won the grand prize (the assembly also awarded five random students t-shirts for attending). However, both an Xbox and $500.000 had epic appeal. 

“I’m very indecisive and had a hard time deciding on which one to choose. So I decided to tell only five people, excluding my family, that I won and asked them for advice on what I should pick between the $500 gift card and Xbox series X. I ended up picking the Xbox because, as much as I would have liked having an extra $500 to spend, I could use the Xbox to spend more time with my siblings and friends. Furthermore, I was already saving up for a new console as my current one was having issues, so I could continue saving up the money for future purchases.”

While he indeed won and chose the Xbox, Assad “enjoyed seeing a variety of people speak” about the topic of bullying: “their speeches were the true prize.” 

If you are interested in viewing the webinar, here is the link (provided by Mohammad Assad): https://www.bigmarker.com/NoHateTour/Princess-Anne-High-School-No-Place-For-Hate-Virtual-Assembly?bmid=41fc429c4645