Watsonville students in Washington, DC witnessing history

A group of Central Coast students are witnessing history in the nation’s capital. Every two years, 11th and 12th graders from Mount Madonna School in Watsonville travel to Washington, DC, to meet with both political leaders and leaders of non-governmental organizations. The school program is called “Values ​​in World Thought.” According to the school’s website, the program’s mission is to develop a student’s capacity for self-awareness and to support an ongoing inquiry into the values ​​that inform student actions and life purpose. On Monday, a leaked draft Supreme Court opinion published by Politico revealed that the high court was likely to overturn Roe v. Wade. Since then, abortion-rights and anti-abortion advocates have held demonstrations outside the Supreme Court building. The very next morning following the leak, the group of students had an interview scheduled at the Library of Congress, which is right next door to the Supreme Court. The speaker they were to meet with rescheduled at the last minute, leaving the group’s agenda wide open. Their teacher, Shannon Kelly, saw this twist of fate as an opportunity. “Monday, when I knew the news had leaked, I knew we needed to walk by (the supreme court) because it’s a teaching moment. Especially because we spend a lot of time talking about how people form moral systems and ethical systems. I wanted to be able to bring my students there to experience this moment and talk about it, and process it,” Kelly said. Twelfth-grader Liana Kitchel, who identifies as pro-choice, said it was a new experience to witness those of opposing ideologies so strongly express their stance during demonstrations.”In Santa Cruz, we’re so sheltered from super strong opinions like that, especially in our school. So it was a different experience to see the other side so passionately and so strongly against us.” Kitchel said. “You could really feel the anger everybody had towards each other in that moment and the frustration.” At one point, several photographers from the media approached the Mount Madonna students and took their photos at the protest. One of those photographs was featured in a New York Times article on the draft leak. Photos from the group’s journey along with daily blog entries are going up on the school’s website. You can follow along here.

A group of Central Coast students are witnessing history in the nation’s capital.

Every two years, 11th and 12th graders from Mount Madonna School in Watsonville travel to Washington, DC, to meet with both political leaders and leaders of non-governmental organizations. The school program is called “Values ​​in World Thought.” According to the school’s website, the program’s mission is to develop a student’s capacity for self-awareness and to support an ongoing inquiry into the values ​​that inform student actions and life purpose.

On Monday, a leaked draft Supreme Court opinion published by Politico revealed that the high court was likely to overturn Roe v. Wade. Since then, abortion-rights and anti-abortion advocates have held demonstrations outside the Supreme Court building.

The very next morning following the leak, the group of students had an interview scheduled at the Library of Congress, which is right next door to the Supreme Court. The speaker they were to meet with rescheduled at the last minute, leaving the group’s agenda wide open. Their teacher, Shannon Kelly, saw this twist of fate as an opportunity.

“Monday, when I knew the news had leaked, I knew we needed to walk by (the supreme court) because it’s a teaching moment. Especially because we spend a lot of time talking about how people form moral systems and ethical systems. I wanted to be able to bring my students there to experience this moment and talk about it, and process it,” Kelly said.

Twelfth-grader Liana Kitchel, who identifies as pro-choice, said it was a new experience to witness those of opposing ideologies so strongly express their stance during demonstrations.

“In Santa Cruz, we’re so sheltered from super strong opinions like that, especially in our school. So it was a different experience to see the other side so passionate and so strongly against us.” Kitchel said. “You could really feel the anger everybody had towards each other in that moment and the frustration.”

At one point, several photographers from the media approached the Mount Madonna students and took their photos at the protest. One of those photographs was featured in a New York Times article on the draft leak.

Photos from the group’s journey along with daily blog entries are going up on the school’s website. You can follow along here.

Leave a Comment