February 24, 2016
Recently I read an article where an Ohio boy was suspended from school for staring at a girl. They both consented to it, because the girl giggled, the boy said. Who put that idea in her head that she was intimidated, I wonder? It had to have been her parents, who hated the fact that she had a staring contest, thinking something other than friendship might come out of that staring contest. Were the girl’s parents worried about romance between the boy and girl? It was just an eyeballing contest between the two kids. No harm, no foul.
Ugh, parents need to let kids be kids.
When I was in elementary school in Indiana, the kids were mean to me because I was hard of hearing. I remember the name calling and the middle finger pointing at me from several of the class members (girls and boys alike) while the teacher was out of the room. It was an everyday thing that occurred to me while attending that school. I never told my parents. I guess it was the way I was raised; I dealt with it. If I had been asked to have a staring contest by a black boy, let alone any boy, I’d have been thrilled to say the least.
At least I would have known he was a friend instead of a bully, like my other classmates.
I remember watching the man on TV who kept saying “I have a dream,” and I loved it even though I couldn’t hear the words. My parents watched with interest. They had friends who were black. A friend of my dad’s was black, and his wife watched me while my parents worked. Their children were nice to me, even though I didn’t talk with them much, and they certainly didn’t threaten me or make me feel intimidated. My doctor was black, too. He was a gentleman. I’ve never met another doctor like him.
I’ve always had black friends; they understood me more than my own family did. My friend showed compassion to me and my children more than my own brothers and sisters, who were never there for me as my children grew up. Though I have lost my friend through death, I miss talking with him and hearing his stories, and Mrs. B., the baby-sitter my children stayed with when I went back to school. I learned a lot from her. Those friends knew what it’s like to be treated badly.
Yet, reading the story about a boy being suspended for a staring contest is so outrageous. This story smacks of times past where any black person was afraid to look at a white person, let alone talk to one. Will people never learn? We all bleed the same color. It broke my heart to read the boy’s apology to the school: “I never knew she was scared because she was laughing,” he wrote. “I understand I done the wrong thing that will never happen again. I will start to think before I do so I am not in this situation.”
The way he said, “I understand I done the wrong thing that will never happen again…” it galled me that he had to apologize despite the girl giggling, which implies she wasn’t in the least intimidated by him. Yet the same girl got away with being aggressive by pouring milk on someone else’s lunch.
It’s my opinion that the girl’s parents were uncomfortable by that staring contest, and only they know the reason why. Why pass that down to the children? Children learn what the parents teach them, whether through their own actions, or by what they say. In my case, it was the actions of my parents who showed me that people are people, black or white.
Everybody eyeballs one another, that’s a fact.
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