Queenstown pupils to send letters, prayers, posters to Foleys


The family of slain United States journalist James Foley will receive a box of letters, prayers and posters from pupils at St Joseph’s School later this year.

Earlier this year, the school’s senior classes began an inquiry into world conflict, coinciding with World War 1 commemorations.

However, during that time Foley – kidnapped in Syria in 2012 – was murdered.

Ms Thorn says there is a connection between Foley and the school – his family was known by a St Joseph’s family.

“This guy is a hero. He’s gone over there, he was drawing the world’s attention … to some of the atrocities. He lost his life for that.”

Thorn says the pupils, aged 11 and 12, are now making inquiries into different aspects of Foley’s life and, as part of that, were looking at a “social action” such as compiling letters, prayers and posters to be sent to the Foley family at the end of the term.

“He brought the world’s attention to the travesty, [so we asked] how can we reach out to his family and recognise what he did and recognise him as a hero?”

Thorn says the children are learning through the conflict study their voices are important and they are part of an international community.

“It’s about being empathetic.”

Otago Daily Times