Trenton Students Honor Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Catherine Pegram

Bonday is the national holiday that celebrates the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Junior. But today marks King’s birthday – he would have been 81. And some students in Trenton didn’t want the day to go by without paying respect to the civil rights leader. “I’m the Reverend Martin Luther King, Junior. It’s 1955 and I’m sorry to say but there are some big problems here in Montgomery, Alabama.”Students at Trenton Middle School retold history to honor the man who made history by breaking racial barriers. “Black and white children can’t go to the same school together. They can’t drink from the same water fountain. And black people have to sit on the back of buses.”The school’s civil rights team highlighted the Montgomery Bus Boycott, as part of their tribute to Martin Luther King, Junior.They also shared the story of teacher Jo Ann Robinson, who encouraged her students to support the boycott.7th grader Edward VanZura says “I think she’s not very known and I think that’s why we’re really doing this. Because we want her to be known as a hero, too, not just Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks as heroes.”Nancy Eddy – co-advisor of the civil rights team – says Robinson’s efforts to encourage people to join the King movement can still be put into practice today. “I’d like to liken that to a civil rights team at our middle school at middle schools across Maine and the U.S. helping students learn at an early age how they need to stand up for their rights and the rights of others. To be kind to others.”A message these students will hopefully take into the future, as they look back at the people who paved the way for them. 7th grader Paige Bennett says “It makes me feel proud of them because it took a lot of power to do that – to stay off the bus and they had to walk home probably. I think it’s important that they did that.”