Paper Clips Summary

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The leadership at the high school in Whitwell, Tennessee can be described as constructivist. Meaning they do everything hands-on. In 1998, Linda Hooper, the principal of nine years, and some other teachers initiated tolerance classes in Whitwell to teach diversity and tolerance. The teachers wanted to teach the facts about the murder of six million Jewish people during the Holocaust. The teachers at Whitwell wanted their students to know how important it was not to stereotype people just because they were different. One of the teachers' main goals was to teach the children what happens when prejudice goes unchecked. They also wanted the children to learn how important it is to treat everyone exactly the way they wanted to be treated. The classes occurred after school for eighth graders. At this point around nine classes have completed the program. The idea of collecting paperclips was to make realistic the concept of the six million Jews killed during the Holocaust. They chose paperclips because they were invented in Norway and in the 1940's Norwegians wore paperclips on their collars to represent the wrong doings during the Holocaust. The children started to receive paperclips from everyone including Tom Hanks, Tom Bosly, former presidents George Bush and Bill Clinton and President George Bush. Every year the eighth grade class would pick up where the previous class left off. The children in the fall of 1999 added the Paperclip Project to their weekly meetings. Despite their efforts to collect paperclips, they had only received around 150,000 by the end of 1999. In October of 1999, German Journalist Peter and Dagmar Schroeder heard about the project through a friend who had seen it online and decided they wanted to help. The Schroeder's came to Whitwell and seen what efforts the children were making and then went to Washington and sent Deta Smith from the

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