On the first day of school, Martha Cothren, a History teacher at
Robinson High School in Little Rock, 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 in her classroom. When the
first period kids entered the room they discovered that there were
‘ Ms. Cothren, where are our desks? ‘
She replied, ‘ You can ‘ t have a desk until you tell me how you 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.
Kids called their parents to tell them what was happening and by early afternoon television news crews had started gathering at the school to report about this crazy teacher who had taken all the desks out of her
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 or 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 uniform, 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. They went
halfway around the world, giving up their education and interrupting
their careers and families so you could have the freedom you have.
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
This is a true story. And this teacher was awarded the Veteran of Foreign Wars Teacher of the Year for the State of Arkansas . She is the daughter of a WWII POW.
Pass this along so others won’t forget that the freedoms we have in this great country were earned by our U.S. Veterans?