This week, Mrs Tetley led us in a ‘Rights Respecting’ assembly to celebrate the life of Martin Luther King – who fought for the rights of African Americans in the 1960’s.
This assembly focused upon the United Nations Convention on the Rights of The Child: Article 1 (Everyone under the age of 18 has all the rights in the Convention) and Article 2 (The Convention on the Rights of the Child applies to everyone without exception and Governments should take all measures to ensure that children are protected against all forms of discrimination.)
We considered key words such as: Choice, Equality, Justice, Freedom, Harmony, Respect,Tolerance and Rights and we talked about Rosa Parks who refused to give up her seat to a white American on a bus and was arrested for doing so. We then explored how Martin Luther King led non-violent protests about this and eventually was successful in overturning the law about black people not being allowed to sit next to white people on buses. We listened to his speech when he and 250,000 other people marched in Washington D.C. to protest about the racism towards African Americans. Here is a short extract:
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character.”
Mrs Tetley asked some children with brown eyes to stand up and to act ‘superior’ to all the other non-brown eyed children – to illustrate how, until the 1960s, African Americans in some states of the United States were segregated and discriminated against by white people. They could not vote in elections, there were separate sections for African Americans on public transport, parks, rest aurants and even separate toilets. In some states, African-American children were denied an education or had to go to separate schools from their white friends and these schools were often poorly funded and equipped. African Americans were usually in badly paid work and lived in the poorest areas and some African American adults and children were killed, beaten up, threatened and wrongfully put in prison.
Martin Luther King changed history and was someone who fought for other people’s rights – an inspirational man. We learnt so much about this time in history and the man who had a dream!