The Student News Site of Northern Valley Regional High School at Old Tappan

The Lance

The Student News Site of Northern Valley Regional High School at Old Tappan

The Lance

The Student News Site of Northern Valley Regional High School at Old Tappan

The Lance

More Than a Week


Dear NVOT,

As Respect Week comes to an end and we reflect on the assemblies addressing hate speech at NVOT, The Lance wants to extend these necessary conversations.

Respect Week is an annual reminder of the importance of fostering a culture of understanding and inclusivity in our community. Mutual respect is necessary for students to thrive and feel safe. However, its importance is underscored in light of the rise of hate speech incidents in our school community.

Last year, NVOT reported 74 incidents of “inappropriate use of language, either written or spoken, which resulted in multiple HIB [Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying] investigations and/or student discipline,” according to an email sent to parents ahead of the new school year. Seventy-four incidents might not reflect the entire student population, but they are 74 times we have failed to foster an inclusive environment. 

And from the recent assembly, we’ve learned that we still have work to do. 

According to Principal Dr. Timothy Gouraige, within the first month of school, there have been a number of incidents of students “using the N word repeatedly and freely…being involved in acts of antisemitism… [and] making fun of students for their physical appearance, their sexual orientation, and their gender identity.”

Across the assemblies, Gouraige emphasized the need for mobilization. Stopping hate speech in our hallways takes a valley, and as the student news publication of NVOT, The Lance is taking a stand to be a part of that effort. 

The Lance extends its support to any student who has been affected by hate speech. For many, these incidents have created an unsafe and unwelcoming learning environment. We denounce hate speech, in all its forms, for its detriment to shared values of respect, diversity, and inclusion.

Our commitment does not end with this letter or a single assembly. In the coming weeks and months, The Lance will publish stories on the prevalence of bias at NVOT and the importance of understanding in an effort to keep conversation going. As we embark on this, we will seek your insights, experiences, and most importantly, your participation.

Let Respect Week be the beginning, not the end, to cultivating an inclusive environment in our school community. 


The Lance Editorial Board