Back in September of 2005, on the first day of school, Martha Cothren, a
social studies school teacher at in ,
did something not to be forgotten.
On the first day of school, with the permission of the school
superintendent, the principal and the building supervisor, she removed
all of the desks out of her classroom.
When the first period kids entered the room they discovered that there
were no desks.
Looking around, confused, they asked,
‘Ms. Cothren, where’re our desks?’
She replied, ‘You can’t have a desk until you tell me what you have done
to earn the right to sit at a desk.’
They thought, ‘Well, maybe it’s our grades.
‘No,’ she said.
‘Maybe it’s our behavior.’
She told them, ‘No, it’s not even your behavior’.
And so, they came and went, the first period, second period, third
period. Still no desks in the classroom.
By early afternoon television news crews had started gathering in Ms.
Cothren’s classroom to report about this crazy teacher who had taken all
the desks out of her room.
The final period of the day came and as the puzzled students found seats
on the floor of the desk less classroom.
Martha Cothren said, ‘Throughout the day no one has been able to tell me
just what he/she has done to earn the right to sit at the desks that are
ordinarily found in this classroom. Now I am going to tell you.’
At this point, Martha Cothren went over to the door of her classroom
and opened it.
Twenty-seven (27) U.S. Veterans, all in uniforms, walked into that
classroom, each one carrying a school desk.
The Vets began placing the school desks in rows, and then they would walk over and stand alongside the wall.
By the time the last soldier had set the final desk in place those kids
started to understand, perhaps for the first time in their lives, just
how the right to sit at those desks had been earned.
Martha said, ‘You didn’t earn the right to sit at these desks.
These heroes did it for you. They placed the desks here for you.
Now, it’s up to you to sit in them.
It is your responsibility to learn, to be
good students, to be good citizens.
They paid the price so that you
could have the freedom to get an education. Don’t ever forget it.’
By the way, this is a true story…. If you can read this, thank a
teacher. If you read it in English, thank a soldier.
Yes, it really is a true story..
Don’t know if you’ve ever seen this. A great lesson for all kids.