Friends School of Minnesota 8th graders have begun working on their capstone project. This annual project gives each 8th grade class an opportunity to work together on a project that reflects the mission of Friends School and has a lasting impact on the school community, grounds, or climate.

This year, I am working with the 8th graders on an project that takes a stand against the proposed Minnesota constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage in our state.

“We chose this topic as an 8th grade because it was something that we all felt passionate about and wanted to do something about. Many of us have gay family members or know somebody that is gay and we think that they shouldn’t have they’re rights taken away. We strongly believe in equality and think that this amendment is fundamentally wrong. There are gay and lesbian families at FSM so the fact that we know that this will directly effect our community makes us even more motivated to succeed.

We hope to accomplish success by taking a stance against this amendment as an 8th grade and creating a video that we hope educates the public and brings awareness to this extremely important vote happening next year. It’s a vote to deny rights and we can’t afford to sit on the sidelines. We need to stand up and do as much as we can to help defeat this amendment.”  –FSM 8th grader

The capstone project is multi-faceted:

  • Students will research the topic and learn about the history of same-sex marriage laws throughout our country and state.
  • They will create a short film about the amendment and its potential harm to families
  • They will  enter their film in the Brooklyn Friends School Bridge Film Festival in March
  • Students also want to have a showing of the film in our community and do other outreach/education about the amendment.

The Brooklyn Friends School Bridge Film Festival, hosted by Brooklyn Friends School, is a “celebration of Quaker values in action” and it is open to all middle school/high school students enrolled in a Friends School. Films may be narrative, documentary, animation, music videos and public service announcements.

It’s so exciting to see how passionate students are that this amendment goes against the core Quaker values of our school and how inspired they are to take action against it. We will keep you updated about this project throughout the year.

by Rebecca Slaby
Middle School Humanities Teacher

Update 3/31/12: 8th Grade Capstone Project film “Love is Love: Defeat the Amendment” is a finalist for the Bridge Film Festival 2012