June 27 • 05:01 AM

Student paper addressed racism

October 15, 2008
Editor's note: The following guest commentary was submitted by John Lengemann of Imlay City.

Lengemann, an attorney with a practice downtown, is a lifelong citizen of the community who has been active in local government and community groups.

I was perusing through some old files that I had found and the Nov. 4, 1960 edition of The Spartan Leader, the Imlay City High School newspaper.

The pictures and stories were interesting and the paper was extremely well done. However, of most interest to me was the editorial which, I believe, was quite advanced in its views and is evidence that small town people don't necessarily come with small minds. Following is the editorial and the listing of the personnel associated with the paper at the time. I hope readers will find it as interesting as I did.

"All Men Are Created Equal"

Within a few days the people of the United States will elect a man to guide their country for the next four years. He must deal with Mr. Kruschev, Mr. Castro and United States' problems. High on this list of U.S. problems is integration. High school students are getting more interested in national and international events because of the stress put on the main classes. But we should not concern ourselves with only national and international affairs.

Integration problems are not only found in the South. The Detroit and Flint areas have been having difficulty with their school programs. In September eighth grade Negro students were not admitted to several schools because they were "overcrowded." Even later many other students were not accepted at large schools because people do not want Negroes in some public schools.

Do not think students around here are not concerned with such a situation. We have Negro students attending our own elementary school. How will you react when these children become of high school age or if another family moves in our area with children of high school age? Will you treat them as equals or ignore, or even avoid them? I certainly hope you will treat them as your friend and equal to prove the students of ICCHS are intelligent enough to believe they can make the statement "all men are created equal" really mean what it says.

The Spartan Leader was published bi-weekly by the high school journalism class with Ray E. Knudson, advisor. The staff list is as follows: Editor, Margarete Wolf; Associate Editor, Lois Miller; Managing Editor, Frank Matthews; News Editor, Mary Homer; Assistant, Kathy Delmore; Feature Editor, Mary Knight; Assistant, Diane Roth; Sports Editor, Mike Folk; Assistant, Bob Maison; Art Editor, Jim Dinsmore; Assistant, Marilyn McLeish; Copy reader, Bethann Brown; Assistant Carol Simmons; Photograph-ers, Larry Clark, Bob Chriscinske; Assistants, Herb Dahn, Ed Lomerson; Typists, Becky Eckel, Marilyn Poley; Business Manager, Gail Priehs, Advertising Manager, George Carter; Assistants, Paul Godo, Carol Stover, George Lang, James Van-Conant; Circulation manager, James Weaver; Reporters, Ed Chick, Carl Chockley, Bill Fleming, Susan Lengemann, Earl Madeline, Bill Sherman, Dick Spencer, Elmer Spencer, Gordon Spencer, Nancy Stern, Faye Vanderslip, Dorothy Walraven and Linda Whitkopf.

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