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For MPS students, etiquette and manners never go out of style

Posted: 7:08 AM, Sep 27, 2019
Updated: 2019-09-27 19:59:36-04

MILWAUKEE — A Milwaukee Public School is bringing an old concept back in style. Students at Brown Street Academy are learning Etiquette and Social Development 101.

"I think it's amazing because we get to learn how to be respectful, and it's going to help other kids be respectful," said Brooklyn Strothers.

Students in manners and etiquette class

"I learned that you're supposed to let the lady go first to introduce (themself) and to be respectful to them. It's not like you're getting married to them," said Kiere Phillips.

Camille Monk is teaching the six-week class. She owns Children and Youth of Esteem, a social development company.

"These are lessons that are lifelong," said Monk.

Students listen during manners class

She's hoping to give the students a foundation for their future.

"It may sound outdated; social graces, charm school, nobody does that anymore, well, that's the problem. That's why we have kids acting out 'cause nobody's teaching it anymore," said Monk.

How to navigate a dinner table is important, but lessons go way beyond the table.

"Teaching them what high self-esteem is, holding themselves in high regard, respecting themselves, respecting others," said Monk. "We move into mindfulness, and then we get into some of the trauma therapies and things like that."

Monk thinks it's important to teach these lessons at a young age.

Students wait to eat their soup

"If we get it in them early, then it will stick with them," said Monk.

Principal Ava Morris is excited to bring the etiquette class to her elementary kids.

"A very much needed class for our students," said Morris.

"These are lessons that are lifelong." — Camille Monk, who is teaching the six-week class.


Morris believes the lessons will prepare her kids to be leaders in the real world.

Students listen during manners class in Milwaukee

"On our side of town, especially in an urban setting, a lot of our kids don't get the opportunity to go to fine dining restaurants, so my thing was bring it to them," said Morris.

Leaders hope the kids will pass on what they learn.

Teacher leads etiquette class

"Unfortunately we can't expect all the parents to know, so if they don't know it, they can't teach their children, but if it can become part of the core curriculum, I believe we can change the city," said Monk.

The instructor is also holding an etiquette class for students' parents. You can learn more about etiquette lessons here.