Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations
United Nations Headquarters
760 United Nations Plaza
New York, NY 10017
May 6, 2011
Dear Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon,
This morning, my wife and I had the opportunity to visit the United Nations. No, I donʼt mean the Secretariat or the General Assembly in New York City, Iʼm referring to Adlai Stevenson Elementary School in unincorporated Des Plaines, Illinois. This school is attended by students from approximately 68 different countries and are represented by every religion.
The occasion for our visit was a celebration of Motherʼs Day, giving recognition and thanks to the motherʼs of the students.
Over 180 students, with their mothers, attended. It was very obvious by their dress, mannerisms and speech, that they were from all over the world. We also noticed something else. They were all smiling, happy, talking to each other, making positive comments with regard to their love of this school, being together and love for their leader, their Principal, who just happens to be our son, Howard Sussman.
Why do we bring this to your attention? Because unlike the members of the United Nations meeting in New York, the faculty, students, and parents of Adlai Stevenson Elementary School get along and respect each others differences and religions.
The differences are what makes this school a positive environment! You can see it on their faces and expressed by their words, “We are so happy to be in this school with Howard Sussman as our Principal.” We heard it from the parents, the faculty and most of all, the students.
With regard to the United Nations in New York City, there is constant bickering, continued hostility, and disregard for each otherʼs differences and religions. Instead of resolving issues, there are constant threats to sanction members due to lack of respect for peoples with religious differences and continue the disagreements over longstanding territory disputes. These nations agree on very little. They verbally attack each other and, unlike the parents and children at Stevenson School, they just donʼt get along.
Children all over the world have set examples for bickering adults who are unable to solve and/or resolve their differences.
This is before they are exposed to bigotry, hatred, lack of respect and all of the other reasons people canʼt get along.
Rodgers and Hammerstein wrote in their song for South Pacific, “You Have to Be Taught to Hate and Fear”. This is not whatʼs taught at Adlai Stevenson Elementary School. Therefore, I suggest the following; contact the Principal. Arrange for representatives from your organization to see how children and parents, from all over the world can live in peace and tranquility, respecting, liking, and enjoying living in close proximity to each other.
Here is a quote from their website: We are very excited about the programs and activities our students will be participating in during the school year. Our students work hard to follow the Stevenson 4 Star-Plan:
Be Respectful, Be Responsible, Be Peaceful, Be United
We believe in the value of living in a diverse society and Stevenson School is a shining example of diversity at its best. With families from all over the world, Stevenson School represents the best the world has to offer. We celebrate our differences and work together to make our school a great place to be. I am proud to say that the Stevenson Community members speak 36 different languages. Please remember that we are the stars that shine.
You can contact Principal Howard Sussman at:
Adlai Stevenson Elementary School, 9000 Capitol Drive, Des Plaines, IL 60016-5007
Phone: (847) 298-1622
Sincerely, Proud Parents of the Principal of Adlai Stevenson Elementary School
Martin W. Sussman
Hon. Beverly Sussman
Buffalo Grove, IL 60089