Jodi Ide’s classroom on Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014 seemed more like a meeting of the United Nations than a high school social studies class.
The visitors, who hailed from such far-flung locations as Algeria, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tunisia, and Yemen, are traveling the country, seeking positive dialogue and cultural exchanges with American teachers and teens.
Aided by translators, the students and the foreign guests, who were part of the State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program, had a robust hour-long discussion about such topics as education, women’s rights, and the role of faith in culture and government.
The students also shared smiles with the delegation joking, laughing and posing for photographs (and even a few “selfies”) for Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram.
After the delegation had left the school, Brighton Principal Charisse Hilton told Ide and her students that the translators had commented to her that the level of discussion was among the best they’d experienced in their travels. She reported being told that the students’ questions and comments were “college-level.”
“We know we have awesome teachers and great students,” Hilton said.
Board member Kim Horiuchi also attended the event and gave the group a warm welcome. “What a great experience for our students to learn about different cultures and religions and people,” she said.