23 March 2006

Eagle Colts Unite

Last night, the board announced a decision to combine the two middle schools in the district, and this morning my 7th graders were FLIPPING OUT about it, because for some reason the other middle school has been allowed to become our school's biggest sports rival. (This has always struck me as incredibly misguided.) The kids kept telling me, "Edgewood kids are SNOBS!" "There are going to be so many more fights next year!" "We hate them!" Finally, I put my hands on my hips and said, "I can't believe this! We've spent the last four weeks studying Anne Frank and the Holocaust, and you have told me that you can't understand why Hitler would single out the Jews, and yet here you are telling me that you hate an entire group of people just based on where they happen to go to school!! Are you kidding me??" In that moment, I saw about five kids just snap out of it, like their little faces were skies clearing after storms. It was very cool. At the end of class, I said, "If you still don't get this, ask Melinda, because she clearly understands why you need to go into this with an open mind," and Melinda -- future Jerry Springer poster girl Melinda -- got this HUGE grin on her face and nodded in agreement. "Yeah, Ms. Backes, I'll tell THEM! You guys gotta be cutting out the HATE."

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