Principal’s Message for February 2012

February 1, 2012 at 4:28 am

Dear DPMHS Community,

This month our school is commemorating the 10th anniversary of Daniel Pearl’s murder. He was kidnapped 10 years ago in Karachi, Pakistan, and on February 21, 2002 the world learned of his murder. Daniel, who was the Asian Bureau Chief for The Wall Street Journal, was investigating a story linked to Al Qaeda.

The staff and students of Daniel Pearl Magnet High School believe it’s important to honor Daniel’s memory, particularly his legacy as a journalist of courage, integrity and honesty. At the same time, we seek to honor the many investigative journalists around the world who have been tortured or murdered in the pursuit of the truth.

We have planned a series of activities that will conclude on February 21 when a panel of reporters, photojournalists and broadcasters will take questions from our students on the topic, “Journalists in Harm’s Way.” The panelists and students will also discuss the meaning and implications of the Daniel Pearl Freedom of the Press Act, which was signed into law in May 2010 by President Barack Obama.

The next issue of the school newspaper, The Pearl Post, will feature a special section dedicated to Daniel Pearl. Known to friends and family as Danny, he grew up in Encino and attended Portola Middle School and then Birmingham High School, the school in which our magnet was originally started.

Our students feel a personal connection to him because Danny’s parents, Judea and Ruth Pearl (who live in the community and know our students) have shared stories about him. His mother often speaks of his great sense of humor, and his father has described Danny as “a gentle soul.”

We are creating a special Facebook page – “Pearls of Peace” – where visitors can add a “pearl” representing an action that they will take to build positive relationships at home, school, or in their communities. Our goal is to create a digital chain of these pearls worldwide that represents the millions of people who are committed to living together peacefully.

Please visit our website regularly this month because we will also be posting videos in which students discuss their hopes, dreams and view of the world. Hopefully, as the chain of pearls grows, they will see how many people there are who, like Daniel Pearl, are models of peace.

My best to you,
Janet Kiddoo
(818) 654-3775