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Love this patriotic teacher

On the first day of school back in September of 2005 Martha Cothren, a social studies teacher at Robinson High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, did something that will not be forgotten. 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 began and children entered the classroom they discovered there were no desks. “Ms. Cothren, where are our desks?” one child asked. She replied, “You can’t have a desk until you tell me how you earned the right to sit at your desk.”

The children thought and one said, “Well, maybe it’s our grades.” “No,” the teacher said. “Maybe it’s our behavior,” another student said. “No, it’s not even your behavior,” Ms. Cothren replied.

The students came into the classroom during the first period, second period and third period but there still were no desks there. Questions were asked by the children and Ms. Cothren gave them all the same answer.

By early afternoon newspaper reporters and television news crews had begun to gather in Ms. Cothren’s classroom to report on this crazy teacher who had removed all of the students’ desks out of her classroom.

When the final period of the day came and all of the puzzled students found seats on the floor in the desk less classroom Ms. Cothren said, “Throughout the day no one has been able to tell me just what he or she had done to earn the right to sit at their desks that are normally found in this classroom. Now I am going to tell you.”

After saying this Martha Cothren went over to the classroom door and opened it. Twenty-seven U.S. Veterans all in uniform walked into her classroom each one carrying a school desk. The Vets began placing the desks in rows before walking over to stand beside the wall. By the time the last soldier had put the desk in place the students began to understand for the first time in their lives how the right to sit at their desks had been earned.

Then Ms. Cothren said to her class, “You didn’t earn the right to sit at your desks. These heroes in this room today earned that right for you. They placed the desks here today for you. Now it is up to you to sit in them. It is your responsibility to learn to be good students and to be good citizens. They paid the price so that you could have the freedom to get an education. Now, don’t you ever forget it.”

Ms. Martha Cothren was named Teacher of the Year for the state of Arkansas in 2006 and this is a true story.

We should never forget either that the freedoms we have in this great country in which we live were earned by our United States Veterans. We should always remember them and the rights they have preserved for us. Blessings abound in the USA and even with all its faults we still live in the best nation in the entire world.

Let me close today with some images written by seventh grade students in their homework papers.

• The stream comes by my house and when it turns it stumbles.

• When you open the window at night you let the dark in and it gets all over everything.

• Yesterday I saw the wind. It was playing in my dog’s hair.

• Oil on the pavement looks like a dead rainbow.

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