This past week, on December 5th, 2013, our 5th grade classroom signed a declaration to boycott non-fair trade chocolate. After a long and heated discussion, all but one student signed the pact, promising to not support any chocolate company who uses cocoa produced using child slavery (that means you, Hershey's, Nestle, et al.). This was part of a larger Social Studies unit on child slavery.
5B's "Declaration of Independence from Non-Fair Trade Chocolate":
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all children are created equal, that they are endowed with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of an Education. That whenever any Industry becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of Children to boycott and alter its policies. It is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Industries, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of child slaves; and such is now the necessity which forces us to boycott the Cocoa Industry. The history of the present Cocoa Industry is a history of repeated injuries.
We the children of 5B, declare our independence from chocolate produced using the forced labor of children.
Our blog, "Room 5B," will document our fight against child slavery as we write to local newspapers and classrooms around the United States, raise awareness in our community, both at school and in our neighborhoods, and fund-raise for charitable organizations fighting the good fight against child slavery in the cocoa industry.
It is a blog written by children for children. We hope you will join us in our fight.
- Mr. Mahdavian