Ellsworth students, community gather in rally against anti-Semitism

Ellsworth rally against anti-Semitism
Ellsworth rally against anti-Semitism
Updated: Jun. 14, 2021 at 11:04 PM EDT
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - Students from Ellsworth High School rallied together against anti-Semitism Monday evening.

They did so by hitting the streets, marching together with signs that signified their support.

Students, teachers, and a few locals left the parking lot of Ellsworth High School just after 4:30 on Monday night to march to City Hall.

The roughly one mile walk was to showcase their support for a issue they’ve been learning about in school.

“There’s been a rise in anti-Semitism and it’s important to show the Jewish community that we stand with them,” said Ellie Kane, a student at Ellsworth High School (EHS).

“I basically said to the kids, at what point do we actually do something? I said we need to take it on the road if this is what we believe, and they’re like when are we going,” said Heidi Omlor, the Holocaust & Genocide Studies teacher at EHS. She said aside from the rally, her students have supported the issue in other ways outside the classroom.

“These are great kids they really are, they also were a part of the students that testified before the legislature, we’ve been working on a bill to make Holocaust and genocide studies mandatory in the state,” Omlor said. She has been working with Senator Louis Luchini on that bill. She said it has been in the works for the last few years, with the initial bill not making it through legislation during the pandemic.

This time around, Omlor says there’s a good chance it passes.

“When I talked with Senator Luchini over the weekend, he said it’s in the Governor’s desk right now, so we’re very hopeful that within the week it will be signed,” Omlor said.

“We feel it’s important to teach about it because if you don’t learn from history, you’re doomed to repeat it,” said Annabella Johnson, an EHS student.

“Since taking her class we are way more educated on the subject, so I feel like now that we’re more educated we can speak more clearly about what we feel strongly about,” Kylie Robidoux, a 2021 EHS graduate, said.

“They really want to make a difference, and I couldn’t be any more proud of them than I am, they understand what that means and that sometimes you have to take a stand,” Omlor said.

Upon reaching City Hall, students shared their thoughts on the rally and thanked community members who marched for their support.

“It was nice to be all together, to do something together, and to speak up for what we believe in,” said EHS student Paige Sawyer.

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