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Why does a classroom in New Jersey always have 1 empty chair?

LEILA FADEL, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Leila Fadel. Dan Gill's classroom at Glenfield Middle School in New Jersey always has one empty chair. Gill tells The Washington Post it goes back to a childhood memory, when a Black classmate was turned away from another kid's birthday party because, as someone said at the time, there weren't enough chairs. The empty chair in his social studies class now, he says, symbolizes acceptance, a lesson he's shared often over a teaching career that started 52 years ago. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.