At Selvidge Middle
, this week has been a celebration of first responders planned by the student leaders in the Selvidge CREW -- which stands for "Champions Reflect Empathy and Wonder."
The "Battle of the Badges" spirit week includes a "red and black" day for firefighters, a "blue and black" one for police officers, a hat day, a pajama day and a day selling ribbons, all to benefit The BackStoppers, an organization that assists the families of fallen fire, police and emergency technicians.
Wednesday, Sept. 11, was red, white and blue day, to commemorate Patriot Day, honor the lives that were lost 18 years ago and remember the impact that event still holds.
"Every year at Selvidge, we do something to remember the day and not just let it go," Principal Dr. Michael Anselmo said. "Our theme for the year is 'choose kindness,' and this week is all about supporting first responders."
At Selvidge, eighth-grade history teacher Rich Blackford spent the entire day teaching his students about Sept. 11, a timeline of the day and its historical significance.
"Now that we're 18 years out, this year's seniors are the last group of kids to have been alive when this happened," Anselmo said.
senior Jamison Straulin was born on Sept. 11, 2001. He said the idea that his birthday is not like others really started sinking in around fifth or sixth grade, when he and his classmates started learning about 9/11 in school.
Straulin approaches the day each year with a mix of solemnity and reverence.
"I try to make it not that big of a deal," Straulin said. "You feel like you’re kind of disrespectful if you celebrate. The magnitude of 3,000 lives lost, it's not a normal day."