By Ron Barry
Some high school extracurricular activities are not always about hobbies, fun, and games.
A group of students at Hardin County High School in Savannah, who call themselves Students for Freedom and Democracy (SFFAD), have begun a movement to try to get American schools to show support for the people of Ukraine by mailing them Ukrainian flags signed by students.
“Our Tennessee-based, student-led movement is to show support for Ukrainian freedom and democracy,” the group says. “We are bringing together students, communities, and leaders to forward the goal of showing American students’ solidarity with the Ukrainian people.”
To that end, SFFAD is requesting the following steps be taken:
- Schools should buy a Ukrainian flag.
- Students and any other interested persons should sign the flag.
- Schools should take a photo of students holding the flag and tag SFFAD on social media.
- Schools should then mail the flag to SFFAD, c/o Hardin County High School, 1170 Pickwick Street, Savannah, TN 38372.
After collecting the mail-ins, SFFAD will send them to a volunteer group currently working at the Ukraine/Poland border, who will share them with Ukrainian refugees as a show of encouragement and support.
The SFFAD group formed in an effort to develop positive activity in light of an oft-quoted statement by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
SFFAD formed a mission statement which also contains a list of core values and objectives.
The objectives: (1) Teach students they have a voice in the world; (2) Give students an outlet to help people and make a difference; and (3) Show our support for the Ukrainian people.
The core values: (1) Support Ukraine; (2) Make a symbolic statement; (3) Spread awareness of injustices; (4) Learn American ideals and current events; and (5) Promote involvement in world events.
“We are high school students of America,” the group says. “Our movement is to support freedom, democracy, and Ukraine. Ukrainian democracy stands for the principles our country was founded upon in 1776; the same values our country has fought vigorously to protect; and the same values the ‘Greatest Generation’ fought valiantly to protect in the Second World War.
“However, these same values are being put to the test today; Ukraine has been invaded by a foreign power. Ukraine’s ideals, and by association our ideals, are under assault.”
The group has established three social media accounts for its movement. SFFAD is on Twitter: @SFFAD2022; on Facebook: Students for Freedom and Democracy; and on Instagram: @StudentsforFreedomandDemocracy. It also has an email address at [email protected].
SFFAD hopes to get responses from as many schools as possible nationwide, in order to provide maximum encouragement and support to the Ukrainian refugees and to awaken interest in world and national events among American students.