The Independent London Newspaper
24th July 2014

Letters

Charity helps students at William Ellis School join in Dignity Day

William Ellis

Published: 17 October 2012

By PAVAN AMARA

Around 100 students at William Ellis School told their “stories of dignity” this morning (Wednesday), after hearing lawyers, journalists and poets discuss handling tsunamis and legal battles.

Charity Just For Kids Law, which represents young people who find themselves in difficulty, rounded up two poets and 10 solicitors to teach children to “increase the dignity of others” on Global Dignity Day.
 
Workshops in classrooms were finished off with an assembly where students shared stories about adopting cats, feeding stray dogs, helping their mothers, and befriending new children at their school.
 
Channel Four news presenter Katie Razzall said: “I was dubious about today because it’s not a very British thing to be sharing such personal stories, but it’s been fascinating to hear what 13-year-old children think.  We asked them to rate the most dignified event. The one they rated at the top was the Paralympics, above the civil rights movement and the women’s rights movement, which also came close to the top. Hearing what they thought of Paralympic coverage was important, but also knowing that it made a difference in the way young boys think.”
 
Ms Razzall told stories of covering the 2004 South Asian tsunami, while Roundhouse spoken-word poets Cecilia Knapp and Layila Xavier performed work about overcoming “adversity and discrimination”.
 
In classrooms, students discussed statements summing up “dignity”.
 
Kais Ben Mabrouk, 13, said: “It can be hard to do things differently from your friends. Hearing one of the solicitors called Rishik Manon discuss the dignity of his transgender brother, even after people discriminated against him, it taught us a lot.”
 
Bhavin Tailor, head of RE and PSHE at William Ellis, organised the day a month ago after receiving an email from Just For Kids Law.
 

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