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MLK Day is about 'accepting people's differences'

January 15, 2021 Digital Media Exclusive

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Third-grade teacher, Krystal Epps-Abdulhafith assists Chase McDade with his Martin Lutheran King project at Emily Brittain Elementary Friday, January 15, 2021.

An Emily Brittain Elementary School teacher on Friday told her third-grade class about Martin Luther King Jr.'s first experience with discrimination when, as a child, he was barred from playing baseball with his white friends.

For the past week, Krystal Epps-Abdulhafith taught her students about King's efforts during the Civil Rights movement as a way to commemorate the federal holiday.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a federal holiday that President Ronald Reagan signed into law in 1983, marking the end of efforts to commemorate King's birthday that began soon after his assassination in 1968. For the Emily Brittain Elementary School students, King's holiday was a chance to learn about equality and not judging people by their race nor their appearance.

Epps-Abdulhafith said that these lessons are especially important in the current political climate. “There's a lot going on in the world,” Epps-Abdulhafith said. “It's on us to make a difference.”

She said that many of the figures they study help her students understand their own situation and provide them with inspiration.

This is an excerpt from a larger article that appears in Sunday's Butler Eagle. Subscribe online or in print to read the full article.

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