OMS Students Build Bridges
Oceanside Middle School students and their Lawrence Road Middle School counterparts met last week to explore and discuss current opinions on civil rights protests after reading an article about protests that disrupt traffic.
The discussion centered on what might constitute an “appropriate” protest, what makes a protest effective and whether an appropriate and effective protest is possible. Students’ opinions were varied and complex. Most important, however, was how they approached the discussion.
“The perspectives were more mixed than you might think,” said Mitch Bickman, Director of Social Studies for the Oceanside School District who, along with OMS English teacher Joseph La Torre, and teachers from Lawrence Road Middle School, oversaw the discussion. “What was amazing was how tolerant and respectful the students were of everyone’s views and that they asked questions of each other. They really wanted to understand one another and would say things like ‘tell me why you feel the way you do.'”
The gathering between the two schools was part of a six-year joint project called Bridges, now in its second year, during which students will study current problems facing America including economics, politics, immigration and race. Students will enhance their understanding of current events while building valuable research, communication and presentation skills.