FROM THE LIVINGSTON POST –
What does it take to change the world?
This. This is what it takes to change the world.
This is the story of a remarkable group of middle-school students from a small Montessori charter school in Pinckney who witnessed history and then took a step toward changing the world, all in the same amazing day.
If you’ve ever wondered whether a child can make a difference in the world, well, here’s a story that will answer that question.
Last Wednesday, March 14, was a remarkable day in America’s history. Spurred to action by the horrific shootings in Parkland, Fla., that was the day that students across the country made their feelings known about school violence. Some of them walked out of school. Some of them “walked up” in school. Some of them took part in protests.
Whatever the students did, they were all making their feelings known, and they did so in numbers that were unprecedented. All of them were hoping to change the world for the better, too, and I’m praying they succeed.
One of the biggest demonstrations that day took place, naturally, on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol. As circumstances would have it, I was there.
I spent three days last week helping to chaperone a middle-school trip to Washington, D.C., for Light of the World Academy in Pinckney. It’s a K-8 Montessori charter school, and my wife, Kathy, is the Montessori director there. My daughter, Lottie, is an eighth-grader at Light of the World, and she was one of the students on the trip. It was a small group – only about 12 students, a few parents, a couple teachers and my wife.
And me. My job was to carry luggage and make sure we always got on the right Metro train, and for the most part, I didn’t screw up too badly.
We saw all the usual sights that middle-school kids see when they go to D.C. – the Lincoln Memorial, the White House, the Smithsonian museums – and as it turned out, we were at the U.S. Capitol on March 14 at the exact time the protest was taking place. We didn’t plan it that way – it’s just how the schedule worked out.
As we talked toward the Capitol, we saw all the people gathered on the lawn, and we knew right away what it was. The closer we got, we could see the signs and hear the chanting.
It was a remarkable opportunity for our kids to experience something historic first-hand. There are protests every day in D.C., but this one was different. It was historic.
There were hundreds of students on the Capitol lawn – maybe even thousands – taking part in the protest. All sorts of media people and TV cameras. We later heard that there were several members of Congress out milling around with the students, including the likes of Sen. Bernie Sanders. We could see some other Senators and Representatives on the balcony outside the Capitol rotunda, waving to the crowd. It was a fascinating sight.
Kathy had the students walk right up to the protestors to see what they were saying. “This is what our democracy looks like,” she said. “We’re lucky we live in a country where we’re free to do this.”
And now we get to the part of the story where the students took a step toward changing the world.
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