Word For It. . .

2Chronicles7:14-“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

What?! No Desks?!

Posted by wordforit on October 29, 2007

Mike Huckabee used the story of the teacher’s example (below) in March of 2007 at a conference in Washington, D.C.  There’s a lot of truth in the claim that a large portion of our students are not aware of what a privilege it is to go to school in the USA!

It angers and shocks me when I read the vitriolic comments and posts about the US. What makes people think other countries are in better shape? Why do people think we know all the specifics in a military decision? I read a post in one of the blogs linked below in which a woman either rewrote history or copied it from an anti-American site! Another guy pontificated about how sinful we are while he stated, in the same comment, that he did not recite the Pledge of Allegiance at his wife’s citizenship ceremony… Why would he bring his wife to such an awful place?!?!

The text of the eRumor is taken from a speech given by former Arkansas governor and potential presidential candidate Mike Huckabee at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C. on March 2, 2007.  It describes events in Cothren’s Military History class in 2005.  
The Veterans of Foreign Wars chose Cothren as a Teacher of the Year in Arkansas for 2005-2006″


Back in September of 2005, on the first day of school, Martha Cothren, a social studies schoolteacher at Robinson High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, did something not to be forgotten.

On the first day of school, with the permission of the school superintendent, the principal and the building supervisor, she removed all of the desks out of her classroom. When the first period kids entered the room, they discovered that there were no desks.

Looking around, confused, they asked, “Ms. Cothren, where’re our desks?”

She replied, “You can’t have a desk until you tell me what you have done to earn the right to sit at a desk.”

They thought, “Well, maybe it’s our grades.”

” No,” she said.

“Maybe it’s our behavior.”

She told them, “No, it’s not even your behavior.”

And so, they came and went, the first period, second period, third period. Still no desks in the classroom.

By early afternoon, television news crews had started gathering in Ms. Cothren’s classroom to report about this crazy teacher who had taken all the desks out of her room.

The final period of the day came and as the puzzled students found seats on the floor of the deskless classroom, Martha Cothren said, “Throughout the day no one has been able to tell me just what he/she has done to earn the right to sit at the desks that are ordinarily found in this classroom. Now I am going to tell you.

At this point, Martha Cothren went over to the door of her classroom and opened it. Twenty-seven (27) U.S. Veterans, all in uniforms, walked into that classroom, each one carrying a school desk. The Vets began placing the school desks in rows, and then they would walk over and stand alongside the wall.

By the time the last soldier had set the final desk in place those kids started to understand, perhaps for the first time in their lives, just how the right to sit at those desks had been earned.

Martha said, “You didn’t earn the right to sit at these desks. These heroes did it for you. They placed the desks here for you. Now, it’s up to you to sit in them. It is your responsibility to learn, to be good students, to be good citizens. They paid the price so that you could have the freedom to get an education. Don’t ever forget it.”

This is a true story…

Truth or Fiction


Soldier’s Mind Blog

Veteran’s Blog


8 Responses to “What?! No Desks?!”

  1. Daniel said

    Odale that makes me think, “What gives us the right to sit in church and worship God”. We didnt earn it but like these veterans Jesus paid the price and the price was great. It cost His life and because of that sacrifice we must learn to be good citizens in the Kingdom of God, good stewards of the mysteries of His word and most of all grateful worshippers. Odale I loved this story. I will proabably use it in one of my sermons.

    God Bless

  2. timbob said

    Greetings. I remember reading of this account, but had forgotten about it. Thanks for refreshing my memory. Our church spends much time in prayer for military personnel. We know that God sets up nations and cast down nations who go astray from him. All the more reason to lift up this nation and those who are on the front lines.

    Have a blessed day in Jesus.


  3. timbob said

    Greetings again. I’ve never mentioned it, but I really like the verse that you have posted at the top. May we all take heed to this daily.

    Blessings always.

  4. Odale said

    You are so very right, Daniel! The posts I mentioned regarding the comments aimed at how depraved American society is included Christianity! I don’t know how comments like that are supposed to edify or do anyone a good service, but the activities mentioned are none in which I participate. We hear so much about stereotyping but I don’t know of a group that gets lumped in a bad barrel as much as Christians…the more it’s said, the more correct they make scripture in that we are expecting the unbelief and “falling away”. There’s a good documentary on PBS covering some of the history of getting the Bible in the hands of “regular folk”; I wonder if the Bible was banned whether that would be an enticement for people to seek the Word…you know, if one can’t have it, they want to know why not?

  5. Odale said

    It’s amazing, all together,timbob, how our Vets are dismissed, but I guess movies have helped them somewhat…;-) I pray for our President on down consistently and am amazed at what we can read online that never makes it to the evening news broadcasts… It breaks my heart to think of those who will miss out on the most valuable and important event of all time, Jesus’ return, b/c they were obsessing over an “Idol” on TV or somewhere else. There’s no denying that many have become hedonistic, but we have to pray all the more. In my opinion, Americans are good-hearted people, regardless of our flaws! God help us with those!

    Glad you like the verse! It’s on a piece of paper on my monitor…in case I get bogged-down and forget for a minute!

  6. marlajayne said

    It’s funny how people can read the same blog and have different responses. Since I’m a teacher, I “got into” this post right away and thought in terms of how important education is and how much our students take it for granted when it is such a privilege. I don’t have any books in here right now (and am too lazy to saunter into another room to this up), but the numbers of people in the world of people who can’t read at all (most of them females), it’s staggering…and heartbreaking too.

    A few months ago I blogged something about an article I had read about these students in an African country who were so anxious to get an education that they would walk miles to an airport at night to read underneath the steet lights. Why? Because there was no electricity at home. Competition for spots to sit and read was fierce.

    A week or so after this, we had a problem with plumbing at the campus where I am on Tuesday and Thursday. In fact, it was so serious that half of the building had to be “out of commission” for two weeks while repair and remodeling was done. The students moaned and groaned like crazy that they had to go to other location for classes. My classes actually met in the County Council Chambers room until test day. The little darlings complained that they couldn’t take a test without desks! Horrors. So we ended up walking across the street to a church that had graciously permitted us to use one of their wings. We went in the senior adults’ Sunday school room where there were tables, and all was well….at least “almost” all was well. A couple of the young men joked that they would sue the college if they got hit walking across the busy street. Huh???? Maybe they should spend a little time in country where people have to go to an airport to read at night.

  7. Odale said

    I have read about kids walking for miles and getting up before dawn to get to a school but not the airport story. That’s so sad and it irks me that a student would even joke about suing the school, but even more so when put in that perspective.
    I can’t help but wonder what God thinks when He looks over His creation…

    God Bless Your Efforts, Marla Jayne.

  8. […] Original post by Odale […]

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