The Monmouth middle school civil rights team came into being in Sept. 2002 when 10 of the original 12 members and their advisors went to training at the Augusta Civic Center. The Maine attorney general’s office, (Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Division) implemented it. The team returned for the spring training, and was very busy in between.

After formulating their philosophy and mission statements, the team developed administered and interpreted a parent and a student survey. Both posed questions about knowledge of the civil rights law and about student safety on the buses and in school. The students, with guidance and support from their advisors, created a power point presentation of the survey results. They resent this to the Monmouth school-community and the school committee.

This year, in order to address the priority issues identified in the survey, the team had decided to do an assembly on intolerance and respect. The team had Dianne Webb from the attorney general’s office come to the middle school to help them inform staff and students about the law. They did activities to prove that we all are different but are as one. This was their kick-off event of the year; they distributed pins, which they designed to represent hope, love, respect, safety and community spirit. They gave them to students and staff who wanted to wear them, to signify that they are “safe people” for students to go to if their civil rights are being violated. The pins are available to community for $1 each.

Other activities the students have planned for this year are a staff survey and a community potluck dinner in which families may bring meals based on their ancestry. The team is also working on having a diversity day, which would bring presenters from various ethnic backgrounds to the middle school for interactive sessions with the students.

Team members are: Sarah Albert, Surojini Braithwaite, Sage Paquette-Cohen, Marissa Dayken, Erika Ducharme, Parker Ferland, Shannon Fields, Justice Kent. Victoria King, Asia Le, Jenn Lola, Dustin Martin, Andrea Mayo, Mike McCollett, Erik Murphy, Eben Musich, Austin Paul, Shannon Perron, Bryce Plossay, Therese Poulin, Emily Singer, Eric Smith, Kelsi Stevens, Molly Watson, Zack West, Chelsey Webber-Wing,

Advisors are: Mrs. Florel Steuerwalt, Mrs. Carol Libby and Mr. Kirby Reardon.

These students and advisors have worked long and hard. Their commitment and dedication are remarkable. These students are the leaders of today.

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