Students put history lesson to use

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 17, 2007

R.B. Hudson High recognized for role in civil rights movement

By Cassandra Mickens

The Selma Times-Journal

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On a recent field trip to the Lowndes County Interpretive Center in White Hall, 14-year-old Timorra Price got a lesson in history &045; one that she’s put to good use.

The Selma Middle CHAT Academy eighth grader learned that her school, formerly R.B. Hudson High School, played a significant role in the Selma to Montgomery March in 1965, when 1,028 students skipped class to join the struggle.

The field trip prompted Price and classmate Tiffany Perkins to start a petition for their school to be recognized as an official site of the Voting Rights Movement. The petition, which has been signed by more than 100 CHAT students, reads, &8220;The students of Selma Middle School CHAT Academy support the placement of an affiliated site commemorative marker honoring R.B. Hudson High School, the former principal, teachers and students for their commitment to reform a constitutional republic and bravery during the 1965 Voting Rights Movement.&8221;

Price presented the petition last week to the City of Selma Board of Education, whose members must approve the placement of the marker in a letter addressed to the National Park Service and Selma Friends of the Trail.

The board unanimously approved Price’s request.

Tina Smiley, a National Park Service ranger and Timorra’s mother, couldn’t be prouder. Smiley said CHAT students have modeled themselves after Hudson students who marched 42 years ago, adding she didn’t encourage her daughter to start the petition.

Smiley said a unveiling ceremony for the commemorative marker will be held &8220;around the fall.&8221;

Price says the marker will remind CHAT students, past and present, of the school’s role not only in Selma’s history, but America’s history.