by Jonathan Chang ‘17
For International Women’s day, the school’s Women’s Studies class organized a teach-in at the cafeteria on March 9. Students were allowed to leave class during 7th period to attend the teach-in which saw many students and staff attending.
The teach-in was planned by students in the Women’s Studies class, taught by Beth Shevitz, when students found out about the International Women’s Day that was sponsored by the United Nations. In preparation for the event, students created speeches, made skits, hung up a poster that students could sign, and designated a box where students and staff could leave anonymous stories of their experiences with sexism. And, microphones were acquired for the event. Social media and posters were also handed out to inform other students about the teach-in.
On the day of the event, many students and staff left 7th period in order to attend the event. Along with them, the MCPS Student Leadership Coordinator Katie Rossini came to see the event.
“I came out to support the event,” said Rossini who also noted that “when assemblies are facilitated by students for students there is better reception.”
The event kicked off with a speech about the history and purpose of International Women’s Day and statistics about sexism. Statistics about sexual harassment, especially in the workplace, were also presented. The event then continued with students reading the anonymous stories posted in the box and stories about students’ experiences with the dress code. The teach-in ended with a skit written and presented by students of a hypothetical encounter with sexism and how students could combat it.
Overall, the teach in was seen as a wide success as many students and staff attended the event and learned from it. “I think it helped open a dialogue that most people are uncomfortable with,” said senior Ana Cruz.