Respect and Honor Differences
13 Jan, 2021
Through the Facing History and Ourselves curriculum, St. Agnes and St. Dominic 8thgraders are learning valuable lessons about the power of their voices and the importance of standing up to bigotry and hate. And, they are also helping to spread that message throughout the campus.
Clara Talley’s 8thgrade Facing History and Ourselves class recently completed a project entitled Respect and Honor Differences. Students read the memoir Warriors Don’t’ Cry, an autobiographical account written by Melba Patillo Beals, describing her experiences as one of the Little Rock Nine-the students at the forefront of the integration of Little Rock’s Central High School in 1954.
Having read the book, students were then asked to reflect on the following questions, drawn from the text: What do you think it means to “cope with our interdependence?” What do you think it means to “see ourselves reflected in every other human being?”
The final assignment was to create a visual to inspire members of our school community to see themselves “reflected in every other human being.” The students worked independently and in groups to design posters, which are now displayed in our Junior High wing. These posters are a reminder to us all that as a community, St. Agnes Academy-St. Dominic School, we should always be striving to promote justice, respect, and peace.
When asked to describe teaching this class Ms. Talley explained: “It is a challenge and a joy to be a Facing History teacher. As always, but particularly in the current political and social climate, it is vital for our students to understand the strength and the fragility of democracy. I teach students about the power of their voices and their choices. Together, we are learning how to stand up to bigotry and hate.”
In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., whose remembrance day we honor next Monday, “Intelligence plus character—that is the goal of true education." It is important that our students understand that they have the ability to change ideas and attitudes, on our campus and throughout the world. It is our mission to strive not only for academic excellence, but also to foster their moral growth and their social responsibility.