My internship is coming to a close today and I’m already a little sad about it. I wasn’t expecting to be sad because I thought I would dislike it because 1) I’m working with kids, and I don’t particularly like kids and 2) these kids experience things that I have never had to. For example, some of them may be/have been/or will be recruited to join a gang. They may have had personal exposure to violence and drugs. An officer came in to talk to me and the other counselors during our training about how some of them may have tattoos, despite the oldest of them being fourteen. I felt unprepared to handle situations I may encounter with these kids, but instead it’s been great!
I’ve been on summer break for three weeks now, and it’s been a hodgepodge of days.
The first couple of days, I went on a cleaning rampage. I’m still not done, but it’s coming along. I’m trying to finish this Friday so I can spend the rest of the summer doing other things.
Then I went to Florida to help pack up my grandparents’ house to be sold. It was a sad trip and it felt weird that none of them were there…but I found some cool photos and books that reflect my family history that I’ve kept. It was also nice to go down there to enjoy the house one last time and to support my dad. We took a couple trips to the beach too.
We were simply discussing Macbeth. Then the discussion transformed into sex changes and…some foul-mouthed girl shouted her offensive opinion as seen above, which quickly led my english teacher to change the subject.
I bit my tongue, refraining from saying something in retaliation. I wanted to say something along the lines of “that is offensive and inappropriate”…but when my teacher changed the subject and everyone moved on….I felt like it was too late.
But it wasn’t. If the girl can attack transgender individuals, then I can defend them.
I really should have said something. I told my little sister about it after school, who I consider to be a HUGE LGBTQ advocate and supporter, and she agreed that I should have said something right then and there. But she also suggested that I should not let it go and that I speak with my teacher about how the remark was ignored tomorrow. (my little sister is wiser beyond her years).
Yeah, my teacher didn’t say something horribly disgusting like what the girl said, but by ignoring the statement, my teacher is not stopping discrimination either. My teacher’s opinion on transgender individuals is irrelevant. She should have said that what the girl said is offensive and inappropriate, regardless of her opinion.
This is not the first time the girl has had an outburst of slurs. She has made racial slurs as well.
Tomorrow I plan on talking to my teacher about this…we have these neon green posters in all the classrooms that say “in this class we do not discriminate others based on their religion, sexuality…etc etc” and the girl’s remark broke that code. My teacher broke that code by not standing up. I broke that code by not standing up.
Being a bystander to hate and discrimination is no better than being the bully.
Although it would have been better if I had said something then, I will say something tomorrow so when the girl makes a slur again (which I’m sure she will), hopefully my teacher will think twice before simply ignoring it.