Students’ soles shine bright

Coffee, pencils, paperclips, bacteria, these are the dangers RB students put themselves in when a group of students decided to take a walk in someone else’s shoes by not wearing any.

On Thursday, April 8th, many students came to school without anything on their feet, for A Day Without Shoes, a national organized event where people across the country gave up wearing shoes for a day to raise awareness for the millions of people in Africa who cannot afford shoes.

The problems that students faced may seem trivial, but for those who cannot afford shoes the problems are very real and very severe. According to the official website;

“One Day Without Shoes is the day we spread awareness about the impact a simple pair of shoes can have on a child’s life. On April 8th, we ask people to go the day, part of the day or even just a few minutes, barefoot, to experience a life without shoes first-hand, and inspire others at the same time.”

Many children in Africa face real dangers of infection and some, due to the volcanic nature of the soil, face diseases that prevent the correct development of their bodies.

Many people do not have the luxury of being able to put shoes back on on April 9th however, and there are many other ways to help.

As noble as the cause may be, when many students showed up barefoot to school they were met with the surprise of the administration. An announcement was made by Assistant Principal John Passeralla for students who were barefoot to put their shoes back on.

“This is what makes RB special,” said Passeralla in an interview. Passerella was amazed at the compassion and caring of so many students. His only regret was that the students where not able to do something for the event. Passarella related that he wished he could have done something, but that his hands were tied by health regulations and school rules.

He wishes that the students who organized the event had spoken with him “We would have looked into it. I don’t know what it would have looked like though,” he said.

The student who brought or tried to bring Day Without Shoes to RB was Senior Andrea Leibrandt.

“We organized this late, we figured it be a no, and we decided instead of asking for permission we would ask for forgiveness. The point was to raise awareness and I thank [Passeralla] for the announcement. The point was to express the cause.”

Leibrandt and others, working within a tight deadline, looked to Facebook to organize the event. They created a group where other kids could find information and commit to the event. From there, students in the group could invite their friends, and so on and so on. The end result was many students coming to school without shoes, but not knowing who the student was that organized the whole affair. This impressed many of the administration including school nurse Allison Jackson.

I commend you guys for being able to organize, but when it compromises student health, it becomes inappropriate. I just want to keep kids safe,” Jackson said which also was the general consensus from the administration.

Leibrandt is now looking into other ways to help the cause, and is hoping some time in the future to be able to continue to help.