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National Day of Silence April 7, 2008

Posted by makingyourdashcount in bigotry, civil disobedience, Ohio Politics, Westerville, Westerville North.
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How tremendous that Westerville City Schools, along with thousands of schools across this country, are empowering teens to act against intolerance and hate through the annual Day of Silence on April 25th. In 1849, Henry David Thoreau introduced the world to the concept of civil disobedience; since then we have learned the power of civil disobedience through leaders like Martin Luther King and Ghandi.

Through their act of silence on the 25th, teens across the country are standing up to discrimination and hate directed toward people who are gay, lesbian, transgender or bisexual in the best Thoreau tradition. They are reaching beyond themselves.

The children of baby boomers, our current teens, generation Y, are described by pundits as materialistic, self-centered and in need of immediate gratification.

How refreshing it is that they are willing to take on causes such as discrimination against marginal communities, whether or not they are part of that community.

Teaching our students that standing up for the rights of people who are different from the majority is an unequivocally American value.

The day of silence will raise awareness for the just cause of tolerance and the recognition that each of us is an individual. It is ok to be different.

Again, I am proud to live in Westerville, Ohio.

Not about Sarah- A new year a new school August 24, 2006

Posted by makingyourdashcount in Life Journey, Sarah Krause, Thoughts, Westerville, Westerville North.
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I stop on the way to work to water the flowers planted at the base of Sarah’s tree. Westerville North will always be her school. I hope to plant flowers every year, so that Sarah’s memory can welcome new students to her “favorite place on earth.” I suppose it’s one way I have to nourish my daughter’s memory.

Her friends now have new schools and soon they will have new friends. Their houses are quieter as they start their new life, chapters away from their families, in college dorms.

Their parents notice how their home dynamics change without their teen. The phone doesn’t ring as often, the kitchen stays neat and there is always a car to drive. On the other hand, their built in errand runner and sibling chauffer has disappeared. Life is no longer as they knew it.

I’ve talked with some of these parents, who seem lost in this newfound solitude. I remember when my parents drove 700 miles to leave their oldest son in Bloomington, IN. My mother made his bed and then cried leaving campus. By the time I went to college, however, they had my older brother drive me down and drop me off at my dorm- anecdotal proof that it gets easier after the first.

But I do understand that solitude–  I just don’t know the phone calls that break it.

So good luck to all the new freshmen and their parents. Believe it or not, we ARE thinking of you and empathize with the new chapter in your life.