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by Brian Flagg,

I have to admit to feeling that Salpointe High School and private education in general is elitist and that its brilliance (in both academics and football) is somehow connected to and responsible for the 50% drop out rate and less successful teams at schools such as Pueblo.

But then I got invited to Jessica Ellers’ Social Justice Class the students take during their junior year. I was one of the judges of projects that the students did to “solve poverty”.

I now have a whole new point of view of what a Salpointe education could produce. They did pretty thorough research and they even quoted Scripture and relevant papal encyclicals! They were tasked with seeing poverty through the lens of consumerism which really seemed to make it personal for them.

So this is the thank you letter I was compelled to write to Ms. Eller and the students:

Dec. 12, 2013

Dear Jessica Eller and the Social Justice Students at Salpointe High School,

Thanks for inviting me to hear your projects on how to solve poverty.

I was very impressed with your research and how thoughtful and serious you all were. I especially enjoyed Andrews’ tirade about the hypocrisy of institutions such as TIME magazine! (This was before Time declared Pope Francis their Man of the Year).

So you are all pretty smart about these issues, now what are you gonna do about it? Faith and knowledge need to get put into action or else you run the risk of being a hypocrite.

A few things to consider:

Continue to read, read, read, search for knowledge and be critical thinkers.

Figure out how you personally and collectively struggle for justice and basic human rights for all. This includes the right to food, a roof over your head, health care, education and maybe most importantly a job with a living wage.

Our society has the knowledge and the power to accomplish this almost immediately, but greedy people who profit off the present system have up until now not allowed it to happen.

The struggle continues…

Maybe a good starting point is for you all to harass your parents about voting and voting in accordance with the Social Teachings of the Catholic Church?

Please come and help us in The Soup Kitchen and in our efforts with the Bus Riders Union and organizing parents for quality public education.

Peace and Love,

Brian Flagg

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Fighting for Justice, Liberty, & Peace in Barrio Libre