. Honoring Veterans
Back in September of 2005, on the first day of school, Martha Cothren, a
social studies teacher at Robinson High School in Little Rock, Arkansas 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 her classroom.
The kids came into first period and there were no desks. They obviously
looked around and said, "Ms. Cothren, where's our desks?" 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." 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, and 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
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 said, "Throughout the day no one has really understood how you
earn the desks that sit in this classroom ordinarily. Now
I'm going to tell you."
Martha Cothren went over to the door of her classroom, opened it, and as
she did, 27 U.S. veterans wearing their uniforms, walked into the
classroom, each one carrying a school desk. They placed the
desks in neat, orderly rows, and then walked over and lined up against the wall.
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 responsibly to learn, to be good students and good citizens, because
they paid a high price for you to have that desk, and don't ever forget it."
Please remember our Troops!