Students at New Tech High School in Cleveland get civil rights lesson on March on Washington

CLEVELAND - The 1960s Civil Rights Movement came to life Wednesday for 10th graders at Facing History New Tech High School in Cleveland.

"It really did surprise me, because I didn't know that it was that bad," Zach Weiss said. "I didn't know that the racism was to that point."

The students watched a film about the 1963 Birmingham Children's March where hundreds of young people fought off police dogs and fire hoses in the struggle for civil rights.

"I was getting angry over there in my seat," Jelani Foster said. "I learned to appreciate my freedoms more."

Instructor Martha Verde showed her students the film on the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington hoping it would drive a message home.

"Young people can make a difference," she said, "that they are able to, if they choose to participate in something, that they can make a difference. They have a voice and they are our future."

Her students got the message.

"I believe that we can stand up for what we believe in," Weiss said, "and if we see any racial discrimination taking place, we can stop it and we can say what we believe is right."

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