Sayre School was fortunate to have Mrs. Judy Shepard visit with their community on Tuesday, March 12, 2019. In October 1998, Judy and Dennis Shepard lost their 21year-old son, Matthew, to a murder motivated by anti-gay hate. Their work is an extension of Matt's passion to foster a more caring and just world. Mrs. Shepard came to share Matt's story and embody his vigor for civil rights to change the hearts and minds of others to accept everyone as they are.
Mrs. Shepard's visit coincides with Sayre's production of The Laramie Project. Based on interviews with Laramie residents in the aftermath of the crime, the play chronicles a community in crisis. Last year, the play was performed 150 times in the U.S.
During her visit, she met with small groups of students including the cast of The Laramie Project for one-on-one question and answer sessions. Characters were able to get a real perspective of the individual they are playing. Mrs. Shepard empowered students, parents, administration, friends, and neighbors to find their voice to create change and address hate that lives within the community, neighborhoods, and homes.
Her visit to Sayre coincided with Founder's Day that marks the 226thbirthday of school founder David A. Sayre.
Mrs. Shepard is the founding president of the Matthew Shepard Foundation. The Matthew Shepard Foundation's longstanding mission is to erase hate by replacing it with understanding, compassion, and acceptance.
Read Lexington Family Magazine's article on Mrs. Shepard's vist at
LEX18 aired a special Tuesday evening of her visit on their "Making a Difference" segment. You can watch it online at https://lex18.com/./mother-speaks-to-sayre-students-about-./.