A Lesson On How Freedom Is Earned….
April 16, 2007
The story below is a true story. It is a story full of inspiration. It is a story of a woman who really understands what it means to “Support The Troops.” It is a story that gives hope, that by the teachings of this woman, Martha Cothren, some young Americans will reach adulthood knowing the true price of freedom…..
Back in September of 2005, on the first day of school, Martha
Cothren, a social studies school teacher at Robinson High School in
Little Rock, did something not to be forgotten. On the first day of
school, with permission of the school superintendent and the
principal, she took all of the desks out of the classroom.
The students came into first period and discovered there were no
They looked around and asked, “Ms. Cothren, where are our desks?”
She replied, “You can’t have a desk until you tell me how you earn
They thought, “Well, maybe it’s our grades.”
“No,” she answered.
“Maybe it’s our behavior.”
She told them, “No, it’s not your behavior.”
And so they came and went in the first period, still no desks in the
Second period, same thing and third period-no desks. By early
afternoon, television news crews had gathered in Ms. Cothren’s class
to find out about this crazy teacher who had taken all the desks out
of the classroom. The last period of the day, Martha Cothren
gathered her class. They were at this time sitting on the floor
around the sides of the room.
She stated to her students, “Throughout the day no one has really
understood how you earn the desks that ordinarily sit in this
She added, “Now I’m going to show you.”
Martha Cothren went over to the door of her classroom and opened it.
27 U.S. veterans, wearing their uniforms, walked into that classroom,
each one carrying a school desk. And they placed those school desks
in rows, and then they stood along the walls. By the time they had
finished placing those desks, those kids for the first time
understood how they earned those desks. FREEDOM!
Martha said, “You don’t have to earn those desks. These guys did it
for you. They put them out there for you, but it’s up to you to sit
here responsibly to learn, to be good students and good citizens,
because they paid a price for you to have that desk to sit in and to
learn and don’t ever forget it.”
I received this yesterday and wanted to share it with everyone. I wish that every school in this great Nation had teachers like Martha Cothren teaching in them. Teaching our children the true price of the freedoms that we as US citizens enjoy. When I first read this, I was a bit skeptical and wasn’t sure that it was true, so I did some checking and found that indeed, Martha Cothren did this to teach her history class. Martha Cothren is the daughter of a World War II POW and regularly has Veterans visit her classroom, when teaching her students about World War II and the Vietnam War.
This isn’t all that Martha Cothren has done to impart to her students the true meaning of selfless service and sacrifice. In May 2005, she and her students organized a Vietnam Veterans Appreciation Week, holding an official Thank You ceremony in the gymnasium of their school. The event was attended by not only Vietnam Veterans, but also veterans from World War II and the Korean War. During that week, as veterans told their stories, the students videotaped these stories in order to preserve them for future generations to hear. Cothren and her students are also active in sending letters and care packages to the troops deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2006, the VFW honored Martha Cothren as the 2006 Teacher of the Year, an award she so richly deserves.
I hope that the story of Martha Cothren’s lesson about how freedom is earned will inspire each of us to strive to follow her example. Thank You Martha Cothren for imparting to your students the true meaning of how freedom is earned.
The story can be verified at Snopes