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17 April 2007

My student

He is a little boy with a lisp. That can't be a good thing. Many Belizean are taught homophobia at an early age, and even though he had a sweet, kind boyish heart, his lisp has not been kind to him. He is not an individual with a cute speech and darling eyes that makes the little girls swoon and is envied by the other boys. Instead he is a victim of tortures tease of ten year old twerps.

Student X and Y had fun teasing him today. During group work, when they should have been busy locating a list full of countries in Africa on their maps, they started taunting him with a new version of "pretty woman, walking down the street..."

Porablecito! He had tears in his frustrated eyes when he told me. I knew that the other tease him often, but those stupid, thoughtless creatures! Oi! The lion in me was released.

If this was Belize five years ago, I would have gotten my long ruler out and "lassed" their open wrist until I was no longer angry. I do disagree with that disciplinary philosophy with a passion, but I was enraged by the insult. How dare they make a creative, unique person feel bad for his special qualities! This is want I did:

To save the victim more taunting from his classmates, I took a deep breath, and assured him I would take care of it. I finished my lesson. Right before the lunch bell rang, I announced "X and Y need to stay in for a few minutes and have a discussion with me." Their mouths dropped. They were caught. Stupid, ready-made, average kids. They must have seen the fire burning within me because they looked frightened.

If you are a normal reader, you probably have figured out that there is nothing I like more then interesting thought-provoking, individuals. God created each of us in His image and we all mirror something about His awesome creativity. I don't want my students to suffer for normality.

By the time the rest of the 32 students cleared the room, I sat at a desk and asked what happened. I was very political. I let them realized what they did was disrespectful and wrong. They decided their own punishment, and I let them go. As they were running out the class I told them, "If you ever want to sing that song, you can sing it to me. I am a pretty woman. Not him... he is a nice little boy. Don't be blind". They laughed and went about their little boy lives and ate their lunches.

I hope they remember their lesson.

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