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Students Learn Lesson In Respect

Updated: 03/06/2014 8:10 PM
Created: 03/06/2014 8:05 PM KAALtv.com
By: Dan Conradt

(ABC 6 News) -- Not every lesson comes in a classroom.

And on Thursday, half the freshmen from Austin High School spent the day learning a lesson they hopefully will never forget.

"We have the youth frontiers retreat. It's a respect retreat for the ninth graders," AHS counselor Thor Bergland explained.

“Respecting the people around you, the authorities, your teaches around you, respecting your peers, those that you like and even those that you don't like," added Joshua Johnson of Minnesota-based Youth Frontiers.

“Re as in to do again, and ‘spect’ as in spectacles, so look back," said group leader Rachel Wahlert.

Think of it as a pep fest with a moral.

"There's a lot of energy, a lot of loud noise, a lot of good excitement," Bergland said.

"And often for a lot of these kids it's a  wake-up call, it's a mountaintop experience. But we want the take away to be that this is more than just one day" said Youth Frontiers’ Joshua Johnson.

“I was really grateful to have this my freshman year," Wahlert told us. This year, she was back as a senior leader for a new crop of freshmen.

"Yeah, we're going to face hard times and challenges. I had the chance to remember my retreat and like okay, I'm going to make it through this. I'm going to be okay."

“We help build character in young people, but also hopefully help a school build community among them as well, ” Johnson told us.

“You realize everyone is a human being, not just so and so walking down the hallway,” said Bergland.

“I think disrespect comes from not having a true understanding, not knowing another person's story," Johnson said.

“It gives them permission to really thing about what respect is, how do you treat others," added Bergland.