There has to be a better word to describe your amazing children than just amazing. And the word proud doesn’t even begin to articulate how I feel. I have raised my boys to stand up for what they believe in and to voice their opinions. I have raised my children to not allow themselves to be bullied by anyone. They have a wonderful sense of self and it shows.
Kid2 has been doing a lot of standing up for himself, others and for what he believes lately. When he comes home from school and tells me some of the stories, part of my high fives him and part of me winces as I wonder what on earth his school possibly thinks about his actions. A couple examples of this is: 1) he circulated a petition at school that he was going to present to the Principal in an effort to get a substitute teacher reprimanded for her bullying behavior towards the students, 2) this same teacher tried to take away snack and PE as punishment for the children not behaving. Despite worry that he may be sent to the Principal’s office, he stood up in front of the class and told the teacher she was not allowed to this as it was against the law (1 hour of daily physical activity is MANDATORY in this province for school aged children. The school is responsible for providing part of that physical activity on a daily basis and the parents are responsible for the rest. Snack time is mandatory as well). Then he told her that if she did, he would leave the classroom to go immediately to the Principal and tell. The teacher backed down and responded with, “well you guys just are bad and are behaving poorly.” He came home to tell me the story and I was very proud that he was not afraid to stand up for his and his fellow classmates’ rights regardless that it was a person in authority breaking them. Today was another such incident.
Because the Olympics are happening right now and because this province is hosting them, they are having to learn all about them. I am anti-Olympics being in B.C. for a lot of reasons. Kid2 knows this but I have never told him my reasons. When he asked what my reasons were, I told him that he needs to form his own opinions regarding the Olympics and choose for himself if he was for or against them. It is not my place to push my beliefs on this matter onto him and told him to do his own investigations. So without telling me that is what he did. Today the teacher gave the students the following assignment: Watch the Olympics daily and report back on how Canada did.
Upon receiving this assignment, Kid2 (he is 10) told the teacher there is no way he would be doing this assignment. When asked why not, he responded with “because I do not believe the Olympics should be here and will not support them let alone watch them on TV.” The teacher then asked him why he didn’t support the Olympics and he said, “Because of the Olympics being in BC, education and health care were cut. Because of the Olympics being in BC, important social programs were cut. Because of the Olympics being in BC, taxes are going up. Because of the Olympics being in BC, jobs are being lost. Because of the Olympics being in BC, homeless are being kidnapped from the streets of Vancouver and relocated so that they do not embarrass the province. Because of the Olympics being in BC, poor people were evicted from their houses to make room for athletes. Because of the Olympics being in BC, access to part of Vancouver are being restricted. Because of the Olympics being in BC, we have lost our free speech and can go to jail for being anti-Olympics. And there are more things I still need to read about.”
When he told me about the conversation my mind did a mix of cheering and thinking “oh crap!” But what happened as a result of him standing up for his convictions was pretty awesome. The teacher told him he did not have to watch the Olympics. That instead he would do a different project. He has to make a poster stating why he is anti-Olympics.
Free speech may be dead for a lot of people right now as a result of the Olympics but I am so happy that it is alive and well in my child’s classroom. I am very proud of him at this moment. This is just another example of something huge that he has done to make sure he is heard and standing up for what he believes despite fear of prosecution.