Thursday, 29 January 2009

Stand up to hatred

On Tuesday of this week at Liberton High we decided to make our own special contribution to the city's 'Stand up to Hatred' day. As a school we decided to focus on the Holocaust. This follows a visit by two of our senior pupils (Stuart Wilson and Megan Bryant) to Auschwitz last Autumn. The main organiser for the day was Sharon Kean our PT of Social subjects.

The day went superbly well. In addition to lessons delivered by all departments that touched on some aspect of the Holocaust, we held a conference for all S2 pupils throughout the day on the theme of standing up to hatred. To close the conference we were delighted to welcome Rabbi Soetendorp to our school to deliver an address. In all my years as a teacher I have never been as moved as I was by Rabbi Soetendorp's presentation. Rabbi Soetendorp shared with us how, being born in 1943 into a Jewish family in Nazi occupied Arnhem he would not have been expected to have survived beyond a few days. That he did so is because of the humanity of others and a great deal of good fortune. Reading about many of the events of that period in occupied countries, as I have done through the years, is one thing, but actually meeting a man who has survived and subsequently dedicated his life to promoting world peace was truly inspiring. Selecting one pupil at random in the audience Rabbi Soetendorp made the point that everyone in the world is special and unique. He made a point of emphasising that we are all special and unique whether we live in Palestine, Israel, Scotland or Darfur. He told us that that he wished for a world where there was no hatred and, in particular, a world where no children would suffer.

''Mans inhumanity to man makes countless thousands mourn'' (Robert Burns)

1 comment:

olliebray said...

A great idea and a very powerful learning experience for all of the children at Liberton High School.Good to see you blogging again! OB