Rethinking Monuments

Cashan McCoy, Managing Editor

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Joe Koon, an English 101 and IB English teacher at South Pointe, presented his 101 students with the opportunity to speak about a person who deserved a monument for being what they believe an example of the nation’s core values are in front of dignitaries to give the students experience with talking in front of public figures.

Koon thought this was somewhat necessary after some of the racial incidents that have recently happened in the United States.

Koon states, “In my mind, these speeches were a positive attempt to dealing with incidents such as Charlottesville.”

Koon invited Senator Mike Fanning, Mayor John Gettys, Principal Dr. Al Leonard, and other important members in the Rock Hill community.

“Suddenly it’s real. It’s not just me. It’s not just a classroom . They’re in that stressful situation that pushes them to be on top of their game,” Koon shared when asked the why he invited dignitaries to hear the students speak.

Seniors Jamari Currence, Scott Robinson, Courtney Bogan, Peyton Morrison, Mitchell Hedstrom, Alyssia Ross, and A’mayah Ross were chosen to give their speeches based off of the in-class presentation of the same speeches.

Bogan, whose speech was on Katherine Johnson, an African American mathematician for Apollo 11, was scared when she was chosen to speak. She states that she was nervous coming into the speech, but knowing that they were welcoming, made her feel comfortable.

The guests expressed how engaged and impressed they were by the students’ speeches. Rebecca Gilleland, one of the guests thought that inviting them to hear the students speak was a fantastic idea.

“I think it’s great practice of public speaking. Not only getting your presentation together but the speaking part of it and being persuasive part of it. I was very impressed,” states Gilleland.

 

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