MIAMI (CBSMiami.com) – It was Student Awareness Day for some 600 Miami-Dade and Monroe High School students Monday, but what many of them became aware of is something that everyone can never forget.
Leah Fisher-Lee was just a little girl when she became a Holocaust survivor. Many young people will never be the same after hearing her story.
“They shaved our heads, I cried so much because I had beautiful long hair, braids. I begged and begged please leave me a little bit of hair. He left me just a little tiny piece of hair,” she told several students during a roundtable discussion in Miami. “They told us to disrobe completely naked and we stood for a whole hour in the freezing cold snow.”
“Were you scared? Horrified?” asked a high school student, with shock on his face.
Fisher-Lee answered calmly, “Scared is not the word, because we were used to it already.”
More than 50 survivors spoke with more than 600 Miami-Dade and Monroe High School students at Student Awareness Day, presented by the Holocaust Documentation and Education Center.
“These people have gone through more than we can say….They have suffered more than we will suffer in our whole life,” Southridge High School freshman Jonathan Estela told CBS4’s Natalia Zea.
The students also heard from former skinhead, Angela King, who warned them against becoming bullies.
“I was the one that went out and started fights and picked on people trying to make myself feel better.”
The event was about more than just talking to students. Organizers encouraged students to take action by signing a pledge to stop hate, racism and bullying.
Westland Hialeah Senior Ebone Bodden has been the victim of bullying in the past, and said this event helps.
“They had people hurt them, but they found a way out- I could find a way out,” she said.
Southridge Freshman Ashley Draper said a survivor has taught her to be grateful for the basics.
“She was telling us how her bed had bed bugs and she would get all bitten up,” Draper said. “It teaches me a lesson of what I have that I should be appreciative to anything. Even if I have a bed, or covers at least.”
The day was full of lessons of strength from survivors who may not be here to teach the next generation.
Broward County High School students will have their chance to take part in student awareness day on Decemeber 7th. Nearly 1000 students are expected to attend.