FRAMINGHAM – Eighth graders at the Christa McAuliffe Charter School performed pieces of poetry as part of their culmination night last Tuesday, June 4.
Eleven students participated, with five individual performances and two group performances.
Each student that participated represented a different Crew room, and chose to present their poems publicly.
Students who did not want to present in front of the crowd were required to present their projects in front of their crew rooms.
The audience, comprised of family members, teachers, and school staff enthusiastically applauded after each student read their poem.
When one student performed her poem about immigration, the room erupted with clapping, cheering, and whistling.
For the project, students were asked to choose an issue that they could “take a stand on.”
The topics that they could choose from included immigration, traumatic brain injuries (TBI’s) in sports, substance abuse, gender inequality, the effects of social media, or LGBTQ rights.
After doing research on these subjects, they were required to write a poem using the information that they had learned.
Many students enjoyed creating projects and learning new things. “Personally it was very fun,” said Abby Rish, one of the participants in the slam. “It was really interesting, getting to know your topic, and putting more details and statistics into your poetry.”
After the public poetry slam ended, the students returned to their homerooms to listen to their classmates perform.
Christa McAuliffe Charter School is a public charter school in Framingham, Massachusetts that teaches students from sixth to eight grade. It’s goal, according to it’s website is to inspire “high achievement through active learning, character growth, and teamwork” as well as “practice inclusivity and acceptance.”
Poem By Miranda LaGrone & Thomas Morningstar
To the Audience,
Why is it that we legally discriminate millions
Based on their gender or sexual orientation,
Like if they were colored people in the 20th century
oppressed by the white supremacy.
To the Department of Defense,
Why are we banning Transgender People from the military
When they have risked their lives for this country
Why are there more hate crimes
Based on gender and sexual orientation,
More than Religion or Race
You are assassinating millions of transgender people
like Germany did to Jews.
To the Family Members,
Why do you disown your flesh and blood,
When they come out?
Why do you hurt your child if you don’t accept them?
It’s as though you sweep them under a rug
To the public,
If I could get a dollar for every time someone was discriminated against,
I would be rich.
Money isn’t worth it if you hurt a human.
To the Government,
Why have you passed countless laws against the LGBT community?
Going back on other previous laws.
You sign the deaths of millions.
Why haven’t you changed the laws to protect this community
Like you did to protect African Americans?
To those here today,
Why aren’t we trying to prevent bathroom discrimination?
You put them in front of a shooting range.
To Religious Groups,
Why is being gay a sin?
In the Bible, Matthew says to love everyone
To love your enemies
And to love those who curse us.
But you don’t.
Why do families disown those who come out?
Why do we kick people from the military who gave their lives for this country?
Why don’t we love everyone?
Why aren’t we trying to prevent legal discrimination?
Why is there no change?
PHOTOS & VIDEO By SOURCE intern Nick Barry
Poem By Abigail Rish
Just eleven years old
Eyes still innocent from the cruel world
The only worry in the world is who you were gonna sit with at lunch
But at just eleven years old
She pops the cap off with a gentle flick
While her mind races back and forth
Her hand shakes
A small pill
But it’s more a gateway into the world of drug addiction
Feeling the water glide down her throat
Knowing it was wrong but she’s only eleven years old
Because eleven years old is the average age a kid will pop their first pill
Make that first mistake
Leading into a life for the worse
Because mom is fighting with dad
And dads gone away
But a pill holds the power to make everything okay
For a couple hours or more
But just like that, the high is gone
And the need for more grows stronger with every movement of the clock
Though time seems to move a little bit slower
Till you have your next pill
Laying restless on her hand
Screaming to be swallowed
Soon swept down her throat
She’s the “good girl” high out of her mind
At just eleven years old
Just eighteen years old
And the pills were no longer just for fun
But more a need slowly taking over her mind
Her judgment clouded
And brain overflowed with one thought
Like a flood rushing in
Slowly losing control
She pops the cap off
While her mind still races back and forth
Her hand steady now, she’s has done this before
A big pill
She feels the water glide down her throat
Knowing it’s wrong but she no longer has a choice
A druggie who wants to get clean
But only 10% of people get help for their problem
Leaving the other 90% percent to rot away
Standing in the back of alley ways
She’s starts the hardest chapter of her life
No longer living high
In rehab they hold hands
And all sing kumbaya
But behind the scenes, and in the dark parts of her mind
Drugs slowly creep up
Making her feel blind
Making her feel powerless
Because all she wants to do is swallow a pill
But she knows that that pill
Holds all the power
Leading her back into the abyss
Where it all started
But she’ll fight to become better
To the best of her ability
But drugs will always hold the power
Like a hamster in a cage
Thinking they are free
Only to hit a wall
Just twenty five years old
And she’s all alone
Cause drugs have driven them away
While she stays stuck in her cage
Mom lays at home
And dad didn’t stay
Leaving drugs as her happiness
But it’s just an array
She’s watched her friends die from an overdose
Family be taken away
People make it through rehab
While 91 americans die everyday
Due to drugs
A sad fact but it’s true
Because deep down
She’s eleven years old
Holding on to her teddy
Her first pill in her hand
Still shaking, not steady
She pops the cap off one more time
Her mind calm now
Because she can get high
Her hand discolored
She feels the water glide down her throat
All she can think about it more
Time of death 10:43
25 years old
Cause of death ….
A Drug overdose