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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Students Deal With Policy That’s A Little Foreign To Them

On a rainy Monday afternoon, a dozen seventh- and eighth-graders at St. Paschal’s Catholic School wrestled over the future of the world.

The subject of the day was nuclear disarmament. The students were bent on advising eighth-grader Jonathan Le, in the role of the president of the United States, whether the nation should ban nuclear weapons.

They gathered around Jennifer Harmon’s classroom in twos and threes, plotting out their speeches to the president.

“Our proposal is that we sit on our haunches and wait,” said eighth-grader Ian Carter, a self-prepossessed assistant secretary of state. Ian and his partner, secretary of state Sheila Doyle, did not want to goad imaginary powers, the Union of Eastern Republics or the Asian People’s Republic, into making the first move. “Any reply that we make could simply accelerate the situation.”

These mini-diplomats were not bleeding hearts. Comments for the destruction of nuclear arms were few. Most of the students wanted to keep their own arsenal, as a warning if nothing else.

“I mean, it’s not like we’re in favor of nuclear war,” Ian rolled on. This youngster has the thinking, the vocabulary - even the hand gestures - of a public speaker more than double his age.

“Quite the contrary,” spoke up Sheila, unwilling to stay in the background. “We’re appalled by the idea of nuclear war.”

The role playing was designed to get students to work together and to give them a taste of making actual foreign policy.

“With things heating up in Iraq, they can see what’s involved,” Harmon said.

After all the recommendations were in, Le and his advisors delivered their decision: Maintain nuclear weapons, seek an ally and be ready in case the other guys make a crazy move.

Hmm. Sounds familiar.

Indeed, Harmon concluded the exercise by discussing the basics of the Cold War with her young students.

“We have a neighbor who still has a bomb shelter,” volunteered eighth-grader Jesse Spencer, head of the CIA.

“How does a bomb shelter work if a big bomb was going to shake up all of America?” asked seventh-grader Nicole Gerard.

“Is this real?” asked a confused seventh grader.

“The Cold War was very real,” replied Harmon.

Stretching their horizons

Students from West Valley and East Valley high schools spent part of last week learning to accept each other’s differences.

The students attended Camp Peace, a three-day diversity workshop at Twin Lakes, Idaho. Topics included racial and cultural diversity.

“The whole camp was very informative. It kind of helped you be more accepting of other people’s lifestyles and race,” said Emory Lewis, a West Valley sophomore.

Now students from both schools are working on ways to spread the message.

At East Valley High, the group is charged with planning a week’s worth of diversity activities for the school, to be scheduled in conjunction with Martin Luther King Day.

The point, said junior Katie Wulf, is to raise awareness of diversity issues. “It’s not really a big problem here. It’s just that there’s a lack of education,” she said.

Other East Valley students who attended the workshop included sophomores Crissy Vaughn, LaTroya Spencer and Amanda Martinez; and juniors Raquel Trillo, Matt Manuel, Tracy Wilhelm and Valarie Brittain.

Other West Valley students included freshmen Carmen Kless and Randolph Gaul; sophomores Sabrina Caliz and Jennifer Eubanks; and juniors Wes Hood and Leanne Carmen.

‘Green Gables’ and dinner

Does an evening of dinner and theater sound enticing?

Well, there’s no need to go downtown. An evening of dinner theater is being held at Central Valley High School on Saturday.

The theater department is putting on “Anne of Green Gables.” Food students are providing the dinner, with chicken parmesan, Caesar salads and cheesecake for dessert.

The charge for Saturday’s dinner theater is $15. Serving starts at 6 p.m.

Anne of Green Gables opens tonight and will be performed Friday, Monday and Tuesday. All shows start at 7 p.m. at the multi-purpose room.

Leading roles are played by students Ashley Sanders, Abby Nordstrom, Jess Thomas, Jackie Bos and Jeffrey Steen. The cast of more than 40 also includes pupils from Evergreen and Greenacres junior high schools.

Auction for dance team

Christmas shoppers can get an early start Friday at 6 p.m. with the West Valley dance team auction.

Items on the block include a 20-inch Sony color television set, a 50-mile jetboat ride for two on the Snake River, a decorated Christmas tree, overnight stays at the Hampton Inn and the Quality Inn, as well as artwork, gift baskets and craft items.

The auction, which includes free refreshments, is to be held at the ART Bingo Hall at Trent and Vista. Admission is free.

The WV dance team is raising money for two competitions this year, both of them in-state.

Five members of the team, however, are also raising money for a trip to Paris at Christmas time. Seniors Jessica Pease, Shannon Goodsall and Tasha Box, sophomore Kim Williams and freshman Rachel Stockton were selected in all-star tryouts this summer to perform in a Paris parade. They will leave the day after Christmas and be abroad for a week.

Giving to others

Three classes at Otis Orchards Elementary School gathered more than 300 cans and boxes of food for the Spokane Valley Food Bank.

“We wanted to help others that don’t have enough here in the Valley,” said fifth-grader Chelsea Greenhalgh.

Cindy Hammond’s fifth-graders, Chris Markofski’s first-graders and Charlene Bieber’s first- and second-graders worked together on the food drive.

The Education Notebook is the spot the Valley Voice devotes to telling our community about students’ accomplishments, about learning in classrooms across the Valley. Teachers or parents whose students have earned honors, feel free to toot your horn. Contact Marny Lombard at the Valley Voice, 13208 E. Sprague, Spokane, WA 99216. Call 927-2166. Fax 927-2175. E-mail MarnyL@spokesman.com

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo

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