Beagle Middle School — Grand Ledge, Michigan
Beagle Middle School began Our Partnership in 1999 – Joni Henretty, Life Skills Teacher

♥ Ms. Henretty implemented the Purple Hands Pledge® as the student council advisor. 

The PTO granted $500 to begin implementation. Their first purchase was an official Pledge Banner to remain in the school year after year. 

♥ All Homeroom classes participated in taking the Purple Hands Pledge®. 

♥ Over 100 parents joined in by tracing their hands and taking the Pledge. 

Students carried the official Pledge Banner at their annual homecoming parade, alongside their Purple Hands Pledge® float.  

♥ Following the terrorist attack on 9/11/01, students chose not to build a Purple Hands parade float, instead, they held a carwash for the Victims of Violence, and raised $775.00 for the disaster relief fund.

Student & Parents Proudly Display their Purple Hand Pledges in this Creative Display

“I feel it’s a rewarding and cost-effective program, giving maximum results from minimum investment.” 

Joni Henretty, Life Skills Teacher, Beagle Middle School – Grand Ledge, MI

“Overall, people feel more safe and secure, making learning that much easier.”

Joni Henretty, Life Skills Teacher, Beagle Middle School – Grand Ledge, MI

” I feel this program profoundly changed our middle school. We went from being fearful of some horrific event happening in our building to stepping out and finding our voice.” 

Joni Henretty, Life Skills Teacher, Beagle Middle School – Grand Ledge, MI

“The project goals seem to mesh nicely with the vision statement of the Grand Ledge Are Alliance for Quality Education (AQE) as described in the district’s publication, The Insider.” 

Joni Henretty, Life Skills Teacher, Beagle Middle School – Grand Ledge, MI

“It made the kids think and it gave me something to say when they were being unruly to each other.” 

Michaelene Elder, Foreign Language Teacher, Beagle Middle School – Grand Ledge, MI

“If we can impact just a few of our students by making them stop and think before acting then a project is successful.  I hear kids refer to “Hands & words are not for hurting” in many situations, some in joking situations, but even then there must be awareness.  Something is sinking in.” 

Wayne Neal, Computer Science Teacher, Beagle Middle School – Grand Ledge, MI

“I think that the Hands Project is a very positive one.  The boys in 6th grade like to push, shove, etc. so we constantly remind them of the “Hands & Words are Not for Hurting” Pledge.  It works.  I feel that we should continue the project.  If something works, don’t change it!” 

Carol Wilson, 6th-grade teacher, Beagle Middle School – Grand Ledge, MI

“Yes, I do feel that the Hands Project has made a positive difference in our school climate.”

Laurel Inkala, School Counselor, Beagle Middle School – Grand Ledge, MI

“Yes, I feel the Hands Project has made a positive difference in our school climate. Kids have an awareness they didn’t before and a slogan to express their ideas. I do think this should continue to run in the future because we get new 6th graders each year and the reinforcement is good for those who already heard the message.” 

Brenda Reetz, Resource Room, Beagle Middle School – Grand Ledge, MI

“I do think that the “Hands Project” has been a positive attempt to remind students about their responsibility of promoting “non-violence”. I really like the posters being displayed in the cafeteria this year. The students are able to locate their names in an easier fashion. My only suggestion would be to have additional activities each quarter to reinforce their commitment to this project. Great job!” 

Merrie Burkle, 6th Grade Teacher, Beagle Middle School – Grand Ledge, MI

“ I feel the Hands Project helps to promote a positive attitude among the students. It serves as a catalyst for forming positive attitudes as they pertain to the way students interact with their peers.” 

Lew Gentry, 8th Grade Teacher, Beagle Middle School – Grand Ledge, MI

“I do feel that the Hands Project has made a positive impact in our school. I sometimes hear students talking about it to each other in social settings. Also, the purple ribbons and hand posters are a constant reminder of the pledge.” 

Mary Ann Schmedlen, 7th Grade Teacher, Beagle Middle School – Grand Ledge, MI

“I definitely think it helps, even if it’s only for a brief period of time. It gets students to think about violence and how often they see it.” 

Eric Hofschire, Special Education Teacher, Beagle Middle School – Grand Ledge, MI
“Administrators remarked on the general reduction of referrals to in-school suspension (ISS) for violent acts such as fighting. ISS visits have gone down considerably since the Hands & Words Are Not For Hurting® program was introduced.” – Joni Henretty, Life Skills Teacher