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The Rev. Jesse Jackson Shares Peaceful Message at Moraine Elementary

Civil rights icon addresses Moraine students during visit to Northville.

Calls for peaceful conflict resolution and acceptance of others' differences rang loud and clear Tuesday for students at Moraine Elementary in Northville as the Rev. Jesse Jackson addressed students.

The civil rights leader, who was a friend of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., spoke Wednesday at an assembly in the school's gymnasium, where he engaged the young students with stories about his efforts in the civil rights movement and shared his tips for becoming a leader.

For the students, it was an eye-opening history lesson during Black History Month from one of the nation's most prominent public figures.

"I think children living in this time don't understand what separate was like living in the '60s," Moraine Principal Dr. Denise Bryan said. "Just having somebody here who was such a figure at that time helped them understand."

The Rev. Jackson told students Dr. King would be proud to see such a diverse group of students in one setting, but acknowledged there's still plenty of work to be done to fully realize Dr. King's dream.

The civil rights leader's appearance tied in with Moraine Elementary's school-wide "The Leader in Me" program, which nurtures students' leadership skills, Northville Public Schools Superintendent Mary K. Gallagher said.

While the Rev. Jackson has been a prominent figure in the political arena, his remarks Tuesday were apolitical and instead focused on promoting leadership, acceptance and nonviolence to students during his appearance, at several points imploring the children in attendance to repeat his calls to "stop the violence" and "save the children."

"The messaging we will reinforce from the Rev. Jackson is peaceful conflict resolution, learning to get along together, accepting differences, solving problems peacefully and make connections to 'The Leader in Me' work in the decisions we all make every day to keep one another safe," Gallagher said.

Rachael February 16, 2013 at 08:30 PM
No mention about how he told little kindergarteners on up to 5th grade about the conneticut school shooting. Or how he claimed guns kill not people or how he talked about drugs. That talk has NOTHING to do with black history or MLK. I wanted to grab my kid and leave, but instead of doing that I decided to not cause a scene and instead will NEVER allow my kid to be in an assembly like that again. Northville superintendant should have interruppted him at the second he mentioned that stuff. That IS political and was in direct contrast to the email sent out to parents. I'm very disappointed in the Northville schools for allowing that talk, especially when the school banned any talk of the shooting for the sake of the kids. That talk was for the parents to have with little children NOT Jackson.

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