Middle school French class in New Rochelle sends messages of peace to Paris students

Kemberly Richardson Image
Thursday, November 19, 2015
Middle school French class in New Rochelle sends messages of peace to Paris students in wake of attacks
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Kemberly Richardson reports from New Rochelle.

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. (WABC) -- There is a remarkable show of support in Westchester County to the victims of the Paris terror attacks.

A French teacher in New Rochelle is using the attacks as a way to teach her students tough life lessons.

The students have created a wall of peace in solidarity with the victims.

"Paix pour Paris, paix pour le monde. Peace for Paris and peace for the world," a child said.

That is one of many heartfelt messages from kids who are just 12 and 13 years old, yet so wise beyond their years.

"I think it's important to talk about hatred and how we can stop it, and I think it's important to talk peace as well and how we can keep it going in life," said Deayanna Gonzalez, a student.

It's a discussion playing out on what students at Isaac Young call "The Peace Wall".

Right after the terrorist attacks in Paris, it was crystal clear, even more so in French class, that these middle schoolers were confused and worried about kids their age in France.

"Although it happened a world away, it really did resound for them here, they just ran with it, they took it and ran with it," said Elizabeth Mace, a teacher.

With the idea of using artwork to express themselves, Mace tells Eyewitness News this piece was particularly moving.

"I did harken back to the messages when I was in middle school that I saw after 9/11, just that generational connection, that one hit hard, that was the first complete poster," Mace said.

In about two weeks, the school will send the artwork to two middle schools in Paris.

It's one thing for kids to see a show of support on social media, but getting an actual piece of paper in the mail, that's something special.

"Each student should get one of these so they can feel we're here for them, we're going to help and protect them," Gonzalez said.