Oldie But Goodie

Yea, I know.  This article was posted way way back in 07…but it has some relevancy to my family, so I thought I’d share.

Seems this new kid in school committed a fashion felony and wore something pink to school.  He got beat up for it.  Two other students, outraged, and rightfully, organized a student body-wide “wear pink day”.  They bought a ton of pink t-shirts, and passed them out one day before school.  With the whole school wearing pink, the bullies got a taste of being outnumbered. The quote at the top needs to be highlighted:

“I’ve stood around too long.”

My son, who is pretty slender and quite a bit shorter than most of the girls in his class, recently received an ISS, or, In School Suspension for slugging a kid in the head, because that kid hit his friend.  So, I was torn.  I want him to know how important it is to learn to resolve things non-violently, but I was also proud that he overcame his fear and stood up for his friend.  That kind of stuff is increasingly rare, it seems.

I guess this struck home with me for a lot of reasons, but I noticed something at my daughters Middle School the other day that gave me hope.  I’m sure every school has children with Down’s Syndrome in attendance, and I hope that they are treated in the same manner as what I witnessed at the end of the year ceremony at Greenbrier Middle School.  One of the children with Downs got recognized for an achievement, and the entire 7th grade class exploded in applause.  There was backslapping and genuine happiness for the child.  I also noticed similar inclusive behavior while chaperoning a dance.

I have to tell ya, that stuff didn’t happen in my school.  We had only one “different” child, and he was picked on relentlessly.  His name, IIRC, was Clancy.  He was gentle, and friendly, despite being the target of cruel pranks.  (I heard years later that Clancy was murdered)  The thing is, I don’t remember the school officials educating us about Clancy’s condition.

I think some praise is due, for the special needs teachers, for the school system that has successfully integrated those children, and for the students for recognizing that these kids, though different, are special and deserving of our kindness and respect.

Jeeesh, I’m turning in to an old woman…

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