In these times when we question the value of an American education, it would do us well to remember that, as imperfect as they may be, our public schools are open to all children in our country – and that it is improbable that any of our youth risk getting shot in the head for advocating for the right to attend school.
Malala Yousufzai, 14, has had no such assurances. Unfortunately, in her country of Pakistan, there are still pockets of violence and the Taliban continue to seek to establish dominance. And the extremists of the Swat Valley do not approve of teenage girls attending school, or who speak their minds about the attempts to ban them from participating.
A week ago, a van of schoolchildren was stopped, and Malala was singled out, then shot in the head and neck. She did not die in the attack, but is fighting to survive. This weekend, she was flown to Great Britain for better medical care.
You can learn more about Malala’s story here.
Malala is a hero. Watching the video below will convince you of her bravery and commitment to her cause.
I recommend that you show this video to your students, so that they can see how important education is, as well as how vital it is to stand up against what you know to be wrong. In these days of reality television, students don’t see many real-life examples of noble youth.
Share Malala’s story. And maybe the terrible price she has paid will not be in vain.