Writer’s block has been waging a vicious war on me as of late. I don’t want to write anything just for the sake of writing, but, per usual, the students of LPHS gave me the inspiration I needed to snap out of it. Kid President said it best when he said, “Even if hate has a bull horn, love is louder.”
This story doesn’t start well. Hate was in full force dressed up as an anonymous Twitter page set up for students to secretly post defaming, embarrassing, and character ruining messages about fellow classmates. I watched in complete disbelief as students were ripped apart tweet by tweet. I could not fathom the reason others would want to hurt another person for a laugh. Students were clearly upset. No one was safe, and I felt my heart sinking. It was then that my faith in humanity was restored, and I have never been more proud to teach at LaPorte High School.
As a fellow teacher and I were trying to figure out who was behind it and how we were going to stop it, I saw new Twitter pages pop up, and for the next two hours I had tears in my eyes. At least three groups of students started pages where all they did was post compliments about other students, and the response was remarkable. Hundreds of students joined, and compliments were spreading like wildfire. Students who had been ripped apart were being picked up, dusted off, and told why they were loved and appreciated. Every minute, 5-10 new compliments were out, and together, the students of LPHS stood up to hate. They saw something wrong, and they did not just sit back. They banded together and refused to let that define our school. If only we could all be so brave. Our students were, and I have never been more proud.
As a teacher, I clearly want my students to be able to organize and write coherent papers, to be able to use their comma in the correct place, and to be able to find the deeper meaning in the stories we read, but I am more concerned that they learn to be good people. I am concerned that they have compassion for their fellow classmates, are empathetic when others are hurting, and will stand up together when something is wrong. They passed that test with flying colors. I will remember that moment forever because I think all of those teenagers saw the power and desperate need of kindness.
I have complete faith in the next generation. There will always be a few who don’t hold up their end, but that has always happened. When you witness hundreds of kids band together for good, it makes it easy to be confident. Too many people judge LPHS on what they hear from others not directly involved with the school. If you want to know the real truth of what kind of school we have, remember this article. I know I always will. The kids walking the halls inspire me every single day to be better than I was yesterday.
Thank you, students, for showing us all what it means to be brave, compassionate, and proactive.
Go be KIND and have Slicer Pride,