Every mom thinks that her kid(s) is/are awesome. And every kid is... in some way or another, awesome.
But some kids show up their awesomeness in ways that make a difference. This video (well, I think there are actually several versions of it) is careening around the web right now... and I think it's important enough to push it a little farther. It was making the rounds last week, and I've delayed posting this, partially because I seem to have had so very much to say last week, but also because I'm hoping that reminders over time will keep us active. Last week's news gets forgotten.
So anyway... here is a remarkable young man.
When I saw the video, I didn't really know the full background...and just in case you haven't heard the whole story -- here's what inspired that inspiring speech.
During a class about freedom of speech, there was a bit of a "discussion" that led to at least one student proclaiming - and not gently - that they do not accept homosexuality. The news coverage is ... inconsistent on this point, but one source reports that the student said that he didn't "believe in" homosexuality because it's agains this religion. Other reports seemed to imply that the student remarks went beyond the bounds of saying "I don't beleive that it's okay" to saying that it's bad enough to warrant doing things to eliminate it. Either way, the teacher asked the student(s) to leave his classroom.
Now -- as I read the stories, I begin to wonder if the teacher's behavior leading up to the big incident was appropriate -- he evidently asked a girl wearing a Confederate flag belt buckle to remove her belt after which another student asked why the girl had to take off her Confederate flag if gays could fly their rainbow flag. I'm not sure I agree with requiring the girl to take off the Confederate flag, but he may have been making a point that has not been discussed in the papers.
Either way, the school board followed by disciplining the teacher for ejecting the students espousing anti-gay positions, and suspended him without pay for a day. It has also directed the teacher to follow seven directives, which include ceasing from engaging in the promotion of his personal social issues and ceasing from engaging in the baiting of students over controversial issues.* Now, I agree that a teacher should not use the classroom to promote his personal social issues -- BUT, there is a fine line between "baiting" and "encouraging active discussion" in a classroom setting, and controversial issues do warrant such discussion, even in high school classrooms.
But the brave and amazing thing was that 14 year old boy's willingness to stand up, be out, and speak in his support. I love what he says.... and I hate that any child has experienced the degree of bullying that lead this boy to a suicide attempt at nine years old.
*according to the Livingston Daily.