Monday, August 19, 2019


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QCSD Plans Day of Service for Martin Luther King Jr Day
Written by Jennifer Butler, Correspondent

            Last year, Quakertown Community School District received criticism for holding classes on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. At that time, Superintendent William Harner announced that students would receive specific instruction focused on the slain civil rights activist while attending classes for a snow make-up day.

            Media outlets, however, criticized the decision, which came just three months after two QCSD students were disciplined for throwing stones and shouting racial slurs at a bus carrying students from Cheltenham School District after a football game.

            In the year since, the Quakertown school board and administration have taken several measures to glean a positive change for the district from the incident. The district created a Diversity and Inclusion Committee and invested $32,000 in district-wide cultural competency training through the Pearl S Buck Foundation. The Peace Center developed a diversity curriculum which was delivered to all fourth-grade students.

            Last April, student leadership from both Quakertown and Cheltenham marked the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr's assassination, gathering with Attorney General Josh Shapiro and Former Philadelphia Mayor Wilson Goode to pay tribute.

            This year, QCSD will not hold classes on Martin Luther King Jr Day next Monday. In addition, the district has launched its first annual MLK Day of Service. Over 120 students have signed up to participate in volunteer opportunities throughout the region.

            The event will kick off Monday morning in the high school cafeteria and include a second visit from Attorney General Shapiro as well as a keynote address from MLK scholar Rev. Dr. Gregory James Edwards. From there, students will depart to the Sixth Street Shelter in Allentown, Family Service Association of Bucks County, Hope Against Heroin and area food pantries, among others.

            Quakertown High School English teacher Rachel Girman chaired the committee of students and teachers that organized the day's events.

            "Special thanks to QCHS teacher Rachel Girman, and many other teachers, who had a significant hand in launching this new opportunity to teach good citizenship and service to others in the name of Dr. King," Harner said in his Super Blog.





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