Exam: How students choose foreign language classes, revisiting 1970 campus war protests

Apr 29, 2014

chinese language matching game
Students play a matching game at Lange Middle School in Columbia, Mo. They match Chinese characters and words to form complete sentences.
Credit Heather Adams / KBIA

Foreign languages classes are highly encouraged for high school students in Missouri, and many colleges require them for admission. French, German, Spanish, Latin, Japanese and Chinese are all offered to students at Columbia Public Schools. KBIA’s Heather Adams explores how students pick the language they're going to learn.

In May of 1970, the Ohio National Guard shot and killed four students who were protesting the Vietnam War at Kent State University. The Kent State shootings set off a wave of protests on college campuses across the United States, including at the University of Missouri. Last week, MU peace studies hosted a panel of people who participated in 1970 Vietnam War protests at MU to discuss political dissidence in an educational context. Bill Wickersham is a peace studies professor at MU who helped represent students in negotiations with administrators in 1970. Wickersham talks about how protests and teach-ins on campus more than 40 years ago still impact current MU policies.