Happy Monday! Worthington was off school last Monday to celebrate the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. Angie Adrean (our Chief Academic Officer) and I were able to attend the City of Worthington’s Community Celebration. It was a great opportunity to see our Worthington students perform and to reflect on the meaning of the day.
Worthington Academy and Phoenix Middle School Principal Adham Schirg reflected on the day in his communication with families. I thought Adham’s words were poignant and worth sharing broadly:
“Teaching and learning about the Civil Rights Movement has always been a passion of mine. It was my favorite unit of study as both a student and teacher. Learning about influential figures and key events excited my interest and curiosity. People like Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, Medgar Evers and Rosa Parks and events such as Brown vs Board of Education and The Little Rock Nine, and the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 have influenced the course of American social history.
In addition to learning about the 1960’s and the Civil Rights Movement, my parents experienced it firsthand. I was always able to pick their brain about their personal experiences which brought this era to life in ways that other historical eras could not be understood. I think the tragedy, triumph and shaping of the American experience during the Civil Rights era attracted me to it.
Since I left the classroom several years ago, I have not been able to teach this unit of study. However, it always resonates throughout my professional life. Reflecting, I now understand I can never understand what many people experienced during this era of history. I have never been discriminated against because of the color of my skin, my gender, or sexual orientation. However, many of the people in my life had these experiences and continue to experience them.
The question I now have is how do I serve people experiencing social injustice in their lives? Earlier this year, a colleague expressed his desire to be a champion for all kids. He said ‘every person needs a champion, especially kids’. I agree with this sentiment. Every person needs a champion, an advocate, a mentor and an empathetic ear. Try to understand before being understood and then fight for each other, especially the most vulnerable. Reflecting on the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday and the transformational lessons of our collective past, please be a champion for our kids, our community, and the most vulnerable. They all deserve it and it will be worth it!”
-Trent Bowers, Superintendent