While some people may doubt the social awareness of high school students in general with a dismissive “they’re just kids,” a group at Pettisville is proving them wrong.
Pettisville will perform the Broadway musical “South Pacific,” but this particular show is about more than bright lights, happy music, and dancing girls.
Rogers & Hammerstein used the story of Americans on a South Pacific island in World War II to tackle racism by having the main characters fall in love with people with other racial backgrounds.
It created a stir when the show premiered in 1949, yet was a critical and box office success.
The Pettisville students performing the show picked up on the antiracism message.
They recognized that prejudice against others is learned, as told in one of the show’s songs, “You’ve Got to be Carefully Taught.”
And the students realize the message is still relevant today, and in future generations.
Elizabeth Miller, a senior, said she had “never really thought about being taught to hate, until I heard the song. Now I kind of think about that a lot. I wonder how I can change it for my kids and future generations; how can I not teach them how to hate at a young age.”
Comments like that restore and reconfirm our faith in our young people.