Many Houston ISD schools will participate in a local bell-ringing ceremony to commemorate the 50th anniversary of The March on Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Houston’s official bell-ringing ceremony will occur at 2 p.m. on Wednesday outside Houston City Hall. Houston Mayor Annise Parker has asked schools across the Houston area to join in the observance of this major turning point in U.S. history by ringing their bells at the same time.
Schools that wish to participate may do so by ringing their school bells or by playing a recording of a bell for no more than 15 seconds. A brief announcement should precede the bell ringing to explain the significance of the commemoration. In that announcement, schools may want to include the following passage from the Declaration of Independence that served as the foundation of Dr. King’s call for equality and justice for all Americans: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
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In every grade of the Social Studies TEKS, students address the issues of good citizenship, civil rights and freedoms, and the contributions of key individuals in making life better for others. The standards include multiple references to Dr. King and the U.S. civil rights movement.