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Commitment to Inclusion & Respect » Conversation Topics

Conversation Topics

Commitment to Inclusion & Respect- Chat and Chew Activities for Families

Highland Park Independent School District has given considerable time, thought, and effort to improve how students and staff feel welcomed, included, and respected at all of our schools. Task forces made up of parents, students and staff were created to study 1) how students and staff learn about understanding and valuing diversity, 2) the district’s current climate and culture and 3) district policies and procedures.

Thoughtful response from our students, staff, and community are important in finding ways for every student, every day to feel welcomed, included, and respected in HPISD. The collective wisdom in this community makes us better and stronger as a school district and provides excellent ideas for continuous improvement.

As a school district, we will always remain committed to having a safe environment based upon mutual respect for all students entrusted in our care.


To help continue these important conversations at home, the Inclusive and Respectful Schools Sounding Board created a platform for family discussions around issues that may affect our students. The Chat and Chew platform presents topics for conversation outside of school. To facilitate the chat, follow along through the courses of a meal: Set the Table by establishing the topic and context for discussion, enjoy the Main Course by considering the provided thought-provoking questions, and savor Dessert by considering the topic’s effect on you and your family. The opportunity to talk can happen at any time, perhaps during carpool, on the way to a sporting event, or while sharing a meal.


The first topic for discussion is Being an Upstander. Read on the find out more about Being an Upstander right here in HPISD!


Set the Table: Think about the characteristics of an Upstander as you watch the video and read a scenario of two examples of being an Upstander.

Video: Boys Reaction to Bullying will Melt your Heart!

Scenario – A 5th-grade student who was small in stature was being bullied by classmates. The bullies were calling her names, like “Baby”, and making fun of her size because she was smaller than the others. Another student noticed the bullying and immediately stood with the student being bullied exclaiming, “That was a mean thing to say! You wouldn’t want someone to make fun of you.” The teacher then addressed the situation and commended the Upstander for stepping in. In addition, the teacher informed the principal of the situation, who sent home a Letter of Commendation honoring the actions of the Upstander to the parents of the Upstander.


Main Course: Reflect on the characteristics of the Upstanders in the video and scenario by using the following questions to facilitate conversation.

What is an Upstander?

What impact did the Upstander generate in the story?

What is to be gained by being an Upstander?

What makes it hard to be an Upstander?

What help do you need from your family members in order to be an Upstander?

What would you have done in this situation?


Dessert: Take Action and Follow Up later with another conversation!

Give an example of when you have acted as an Upstander.

Notice a time this week when you can be an Upstander.

Decide on a time within the next week when you can all revisit the conversation.