A Lesson on Equality From Stedwick Elementary School Students (VIDEO)

Students in Montgomery Village are sending a strong video message about judging someone before getting to know them. In fact, this video entitled, “The Lie” has received thousands of views and shares from people across the world.

In the video, students share a time when they overheard something negative about their race, gender or religion.

“My lie was that Muslims are terrorists,” said student Noora Syarief. “Preferably for me, because I have a headscarf on, people point it out easily.”

“Latinos can’t speak English is the lie I heard,” said student Giovanni Larios.

The video was produced after Stedwick Elementary School teacher Melinda Nwoye decided to take action and make these casual conversations in the classroom, a teaching moment for her students.  The power of poetry was next on Nwoye’s lesson plan so she started the lesson with one question: have you ever heard a lie that has been said about you, your race, your religion, or gender?
img_3487-3Students at Stedwick Elementary School
“I wanted to teach the students to not let negative words impact who they really are,” said Nwoye. “It wasn’t something I planned. It came about based upon the needs of the students.”

Nwoye said the students wrote a poem about their feelings and shared it with their classmates.

“When the first person told their lie, this student in the classroom jumped up and said ‘that’s a lie you know.  Why would someone say that when we know you’re not like that,”” said Nwoye.

Overall, Nwoye stated this project was all about teaching her students to stand on their two feet.

“Now I know that it’s not okay if you just judge someone based on what they look like,” said student Perry Tebong.

Since its debut, the video has more than 30,000 views and because of its powerful message, the Montgomery County  Fire and Rescue Services has decided to incorporate it in their diversity training.

Mitti Hicks

About Mitti Hicks

Mitti Hicks is a multimedia journalist and community engagement specialist with Montgomery Community Media. She is passionate about telling stories that impact our community and may be reached at and on Twitter @mittimegan.


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