Assets in Action: Children provide hope for a brighter future

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By Bernadette Lauritzen

I love when the student becomes the teacher!

Occasionally, we need our eyes opened by a child, so we can see clearly and know there is hope for the future.

Last week, a friend shared a wonderful, heart warming story with me. While I didn’t witness the story with my own eyes, I did verify it myself, before sharing it with you.

A very young teenage boy witnessed what he believed to be someone treating a special education student in an unkind manner. The student mustered the fortitude to call the person he thought was being ignorant, on their handling of the situation.

The person was then equally ignorant to the young boy, probably never dreaming their actions would be called into question. The boy replied a second time in defense of the special education student.

The next time I crossed paths with the young man, I asked if he indeed stood up to the person in question. He cast his eyes downward as if he were about to be reprimanded by me.

I smiled and while trying not to choke on the huge frog in my throat, I told him how very proud I was of him.

You see, what I haven’t shared with you is that the young man stood up to an adult for being too harsh. He did it not once, but twice.

As I recounted the story later, tears welled up in my eyes and I could barely finish the story for fear of bursting into tears.

We try to teach children to stand up when they see something wrong. The fact that he stood up to an adult, made a memory for me that I will carry with me for a lifetime.

May we all do what is right when we are the ones that need to speak up for someone else or ourselves. Remind children to talk to someone they trust and if they feel they aren’t being heard to tell someone else.
Bernadette Lauritzen is the Executive Director of Champions of Youth Ambitions (C’YA), a local non-profit dedicated to youth.