Classes celebrate MLK’s legacy


Martin Luther King Jr. was incredibly influential in his work for Civil Rights and racial equality. (File Photo)

West High celebrated Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy during classes Friday. The district will not have school on the holiday, so administrators took the opportunity to discuss King’s continuing legacy and the stereotypes that persist today.

Students watched a ten minute video first period of people shattering the stereotypes associated with them. The video also included spoken word poems and statements from West students and staff.


Throughout the day, classes were invited to watch documentaries and see speakers, including University of Iowa Professor Michael Hill and the documentaries A Time for Justice, Mighty Times: The Children’s March and Selma: The Bridge to the Ballot.

Ala Mohamed ’17 performed a poem she wrote over the intercom during the last few minutes of the day.  The poem, Lying by Omission, highlights the discrimination that happens through the omission of history that makes people uncomfortable.

Mohamed said principal Gregg Shoultz approached after hearing her first perform the poem.

“I read this poem in Diversity Dinner … and when I performed it he fell it love with it,” she said.  “He wanted me to perform it on advisory.”

Mohamed said they had trouble scheduling  a time to record for advisory, so instead he proposed that she perform it for Martin Luther King Jr. day at school.

She said she hopes her poem and the activities throughout the day highlight the steps society has taken to eliminate discrimination and the steps it still has to go.

“All your classmates, your black friends, your Latino friends your Asian friends, they wouldn’t be with you if you lived in the past,” she said. “So, if you see the difference between now and then, then you will understand why we need MLK day.”