Saturday, November 15, 2014


In September 2005, on the first day of school, Martha Cothren, a History teacher at Valley Heights High School in Ontario, did something unforgettable. On the first day of school, with the permission of the school superintendent and the principal, she removed all the desks in her classroom. When the first period kids entered the room they found no desks.   '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 one.'
They thought, 'Maybe it's our grades.'  'No,' she said.
‘Our behavior?' She told them, 'No’ she said.
And so, they came and went, the first period, second, third. Still no desks in the classroom. Kids called their parents to tell them what was happening; by early afternoon television news crews had gathered at the school to report about this crazy teacher who had taken all desks out of her room.
The  final period of the day came and as the puzzled students sat on the floor of the classroom. Martha said, ‘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’m going to tell you.'
At this point, Martha went over to the door of her classroom and opened  it. Twenty-seven (27)  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 walked over to stand alongside the wall. By the time the last soldier had set the final desk in place those kids started to understand, for the first time in their lives, 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 for your freedom to get education. Never forget it.'
This teacher was awarded Veterans of  Foreign Wars Teacher of the Year in 2006. She is the daughter of a WWII POW.
The freedoms we have in this great country were earned by our Veterans. Sardar Patel would have liked this fact. He had fought for independence, using ahinsa.
Remember the men of our military and the rights they  have won for us.....
I’m a Gujarati Christian from village Ratanpur, Matar, Kheda distt. & a resident of Behrampura; get the goodwill of the Defence Forces and you will have a zero-crisis tenure. They will die for you with a smile.
Perhaps India's Prime Minister, a self-educated tea-stall tea seller should read this blog.