Students graduate from program that uses King's teachings - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Students graduate from program that uses King's teachings

By Ben Watson - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - A new program is using the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr to curb violence in City Schools.
Monday, first group of students to undergo the training graduated.  School officials kicked off the ceremony with much fanfare.

The staffers and students honored said they have an important goal:

"We need to teach our children that there in an alternative to violence," MCS staffer Willa Broom said.

Officials said it's the same attitude about violence advocated by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

"This is his dream," MCS staffer Darna Davis said. "He wanted us to carry it out."

For the past two weeks, these school counselors, teachers and other staffers have been learning Dr. Kings methods as part of the Kingian Nonviolence Program.
"This was MLK's last request," said Dr. Bernard LaFayette of the Center for Nonviolence and Peace Studies. "He said this to me here in Memphis on April 4th, that morning before his assassination."

LaFayette, a University of Rhode Island professor, was an assistant to Dr. King during the civil rights movement.  He says Memphis City Schools is one of 22 districts around the country where people are being trained on how to teach students and other conflict resolution methods. 

 Their job is to stop violence before it starts....

"We will not fail our children," MCS staffer Angeletta Giles said. "We will believe that we can live in a society where there is no violence."

Twenty-six people completed the program Monday.  District officials say 26 will begin training others until the entire district is up to speed with the program.

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