The Anti-Defamation League’s Southeast Region awarded its Stuart Lewengrub Torch of Liberty Award on Thursday, June 22, to Atlanta Public Schools and Superintendent Meria Carstarphen at the annual Torch of Liberty Corporate Breakfast.

“This award recognizes the incredible work that Atlanta Public Schools has done over the past two years to implement ADL’s No Place for Hate program throughout the entire school district,” said Shelley Rose, the ADL interim regional director.

The ADL offers No Place for Hate free to schools to rally them around the goal of creating a welcoming community committed to stopping all forms of bias and bullying. In 2012, as the Austin Independent School District’s superintendent, Carstarphen announced plans to bring the program to the entire district.

She brought that commitment to Atlanta when she became the superintendent in July 2014, and in 2015, Atlanta Public Schools introduced the initiative systemwide. The school system has seen progress in addressing and preventing bullying and cyber bullying and educating about all forms of hatred.

“The No Place for Hate initiative provides our district with a clear framework to fight bias, bullying and hatred, leading to long-term solutions for creating and maintaining a positive climate,” Carstarphen said. “We are sending a clear message that hate, bullying and disrespect have no place in our schools. We want our schools to be places where students, staff and families feel safe, welcomed and respected.”