Prize-Winning Poetry

Posted on 9th Mar 2022

We are incredibly proud of Elizabeth Stickland in Year 9 who has won the UK category of the Stronger Than Hate challenge organised by the University of Southern California (USC) Shoah Foundation and Discovery Education’s programme ‘Teaching with Testimony’. As their website explains: ‘Drawing upon USC Shoah Foundation's vast library of audiovisual testimony from survivors and witnesses of genocides, Teaching with Testimony empowers students to find their voices and take action for a better future.’

The challenge was open to students aged 13-18 and invited them to produce a video, poem, song or piece of art that showed how communities can be stronger than hate. Elizabeth’s powerful poem about stopping hate was chosen as the winner and she was awarded an iPad and a £5,000 grant for the Academy – as well as a Principal’s Commendation from Mr McShane.

Well done Elizabeth!


Elizabeth’s winning poem:


Hate; an intense hostility,

Running rampant in our world,

Empathy seems a distant possibility,

As the worst of human nature is unfurled.


The pain, the fear, the loneliness,

Evil words spoken by an ignorant tongue,

The heavy burden of unworthiness,

Bearing down upon the old and young.


Believers berated by a vicious onslaught,

Their places of worship defaced,

By people lacking a single thought,

For the faith they have displaced.


Discriminated against because of their races,

Put down, sneered at,

For simply showing their faces,

Treated worse than a rabid rat.


Those hated for looking different,

Those hurt for acting ‘unusual’,

Looks are insignificant,

If the heart itself isn't beautiful.


Genocides, shootings, killings,

Tearing communities apart,

Destroying countless buildings,

Breaking too many hearts.


People mocked for who they love,

Insulted for their identity,

By people who are convinced they're above,

And can torment others endlessly.


Yet young people are still asked,

“Why so much anxiety?

Teenage years are such a blast.”

Take another look at our society.


And as the months pass by,

It gets harder to deny,

The sheer number of people who can relate,

Stop hate.

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