Celebrating and practicing our freedoms

Many times students in today’s world get a bad rap for “not understanding” America’s history. It is time that we clear that misconception. These past couple of weeks, Rockdale ISD students demonstrated their understanding of democracy and patriotism in very important events.

Many of you were able to participate in our Veterans’ Day Program this past Monday and witnessed the largest celebration our district has contributed to since I have been a part of the district.

All of us were passionately moved in some way as we listened to the band open the ceremony with the Star Spangled Banner, songs from students Pre-K through grade 12, our guest speaker, veterans from our community, and speeches from winners of the Patriot’s Pen and the Voice of Democracy contests.

Last Tuesday, students from different campuses participated in the election process as they cast their votes in a mock presidential election. It is interesting to note that many of them were very excited to vote. I trust that practicing the election process will build a desire for our students to use their voting rights when they turn 18 years old.

Both of these events took time and special planning by campus administrators, the transportation and maintenance department and those that work closest with our students; our teachers and paraprofessionals. I want to send a special thanks to all of you for making these events a huge success.

I also want to take this opportunity to say thank you to our Veterans. Both of these events—the freedom to vote and celebrating Veterans’ Day in a public school—would not be possible without the service you all have provided our nation.

I also want to mention that my Dad would be especially proud of both events. Even though he was a high school dropout in a time when this world had different challenges, he was a strong believer of a public education and the voting process. More importantly, he was a veteran of three wars serving his country proudly for 21 years.

He passed away about six weeks ago, but I can assure you he was smiling on Monday as his youngest granddaughter read her Voice of Democracy speech, as our students raised and lowered the United States Flag, as they sang songs about our nation, and the band played the Star Spangled Banner and ended with the deeply moving Taps.

Because of our Veterans, we have voting rights and public schools; because of our public schools we have the opportunities to practice democracy; and because we have such a caring and passionate staff, we have great programs and educational opportunities for our students and our community in Rockdale ISD.

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2012-11-15 digital edition

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