Students educate others on genocides

May 30, 2008 — by Uma Sambasivam

Though most people know of the atrocities committed during the Holocaust and the current genocide in Darfur, few know the extent of crimes against humanity that have occurred since and that are still continuing on today.

To raise awareness for these incidents, history teacher Mike Davey’s World History classes gave five-minute presentations detailing 12 different instances of mass ethnicity-based murder, some more publicly known than others.

The presentations, which took place in his room May 22, were given by groups of two or three students and discussed the major genocides that had happened or are still in progress. There were 12 genocides presented, ranging from ones in Armenia to one in Rwanda. Students presented their topics in to an audience made of their peers and parents.

“One goal is to educate parents and to have parents see their students, in a way in which they probably haven’t seen in quite some time,” said Davey.

Students covered the eights stages or steps of genocide, which are classification, symbolization, dehumanization, organization, polarization, extermination and denial, by showing videos or slideshows; and by giving speeches.

“It’s important that the students realize how awful genocide is,” said Davey, “at the same time, how just everyday racism is the first step toward the eights stages of genocide.”

Davey hopes that the students were able to gain a new understanding of world events from the presentations.

“We said ‘never again’ to genocide after the Holocaust during WWII, we had a genocide convention to discuss what it means to be having a genocide and how to stop it from happening again,” said Davey.

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