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Harrison Students Participate At Inaugural Human Rights Institute

Seventh-graders from Louis M. Klein Middle attended the Human Rights Institute for Middle School Student Learners in White Plains.
Seventh-graders from Louis M. Klein Middle attended the Human Rights Institute for Middle School Student Learners in White Plains. Photo Credit: Harrison Central School District

HARRISON, N.Y. – Seventh-graders from Louis M. Klein Middle School took part in the first annual Human Rights Institute for Middle School Student Learners held at the White Plains Public Library.

Two to three students from each of the social studies “teams” in eighth- grade under the leadership of Roseann Fiore, Johanna Schroeder and Deirdre MacNeill were selected based on written essays.

“We gave students background information about the event and then asked students to answer the following questions: Why do you want to participate in this program and how would you want to share what you learn at the event with the students of LMK?” said seventh-grade social studies teacher Deirdre MacNeill. “We selected the paragraphs that demonstrated leadership, a passion for promoting human rights, and a desire to learn about the topics being presented.”

Students Roya Azar, Rachel Griff, Zach Lopane, Areebah Mehmood, Caroline Murabito, Sami Omaish, Madison Schiro and Ben Scammell attended the event.

The day was designed to promote awareness and empower the students to become “upstanders.”

Students were treated to a presentation by Sheila Arnold, chief executive officer, and lead performer of History Alive! Arnold portrayed Betsy Costner, a post-Civil War slave who goes in search of the son who was sold. Through her presentation, Arnold made the connection with the work of abolitionists.

“As teachers, our next steps are to meet with our student leaders and develop an activity that can be used at LMK to promote the importance of being an upstander and not ignore situations that can be improved,” said MacNeill.

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