This is from an email recently forwarded to me and I thought it worthy enough to preserve on this site. The lesson here is that there are many ways to demonstrate to young people what freedom, and the sacrifices that preserve our freedom, is all about. It takes moral courage and the strength of your convictions to speak up and speak out as this teacher and the superindentent did. I would hope that our school authorities would do similarly, not cowering to the forces that speak falsely against such endeavors.
Hooray for this Teacher! We need more like her!
In September 2005, on the first day of school, Martha Cothren, a social
studies school teacher at Robinson High School in Little Rock, AR, did
something not to be forgotten.
On the first day of school, with permission of the school
superintendent, the principal and the building supervisor, she took all
of the desks out of the classroom.
The kids came into first period and there were no desks. They obviously
looked around and said, “Ms. Cothren, where’s our desk?” And she said,
“You can’t have a desk until you tell me how you earn them.”
They thought, “Well, maybe it’s our grades.”
“No,” she said.
“Maybe it’s our behavior.”
And she told them, “No, it’s not even your behavior.”
And so they came and went in the first period, still no desks in the
classroom. Second period, same thing, third period too. By early
afternoon television news crews had gathered in Ms. Cothren’s class to
find out about this crazy teacher who had taken all the desks out of
The last period of the day, Martha Cothren gathered her class. They
were at this time sitting on the floor around the sides of the room.
And she says, “Throughout the day no one has really understood how you
earn the desks that sit in this classroom ordinarily.” She said, “Now
I’m going to tell you.”
Martha Cothren went over to the door of her classroom and opened it,
and as she did 27 U.S. veterans, wearing their uniforms, walked into
that classroom, each one carrying a school desk. And they placed those
school desks in rows, and then they stood along the wall. And by the
time they had finished placing those desks, th ose kids, for the first
time I think perhaps in their lives, understood how they earned those
Martha said, “You don’t have to earn those desks. These guys did it for
you. They put them out there for you, but it’s up to you to sit here
responsibly to learn, to be good students and good citizens, because
they paid a price for you to have that desk, and don’t ever forget it.”
Friends, I think sometimes we forget that the freedoms that we have are
freedoms not because of celebrities. The freedoms are because of
ordinary people who did extraordinary things, who loved this country
more than life itself, and who not only earned a school desk for a kid
at the Robinson High School in Little Rock, but who earned a seat for
you and me to enjoy this great land we call home, this wonderful nation
that we better love enough to protect and preserve with the kind of
conservative, solid values and principles that made us a great nation.
“We live in the Land of the Free because of the brave.”
According to www.truthorfiction.com this is a true story first related by candidate Mike Huckabee during a speech in 2007. See http://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors/s/school-desks.htm for details.