Thursday, September 20, 2007

Jena, LA

So I called another audible today, and I'm glad I did. As I've mentioned, my students and I have been reading literature focused on civil disobedience, nonviolence, peace and justice. Given the rallies and demonstrations on behalf of the "Jena Six" today, and the all-day coverage of it, I decided to just turn on CNN. We watched and discussed. Needless to say, my students (a good 97% of whom are black or Hispanic) had a lot to say. Much of it was simple disbelief and sadness that there are still schools where nooses can be hung on trees. Unbelievable. As an educator, I shared with them how upset I was in particular that a fellow educator (the principal of the school, if memory serves) would refer to hanging nooses on a "whites only" tree as a prank. That simply cannot be. I was also gratified that many of the detention staff joined in the conversation. Tomorrow we'll return to MLK's amazing and under-taught speech on Vietnam.

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