By Carol, Atrium School Parent
People have been calling my 5th grader names. Strangers, friends and family members alike. He is a lover of school and a maker of friends. He reads and smiles and runs and does what 10 year old boys are created to do. Throughout these elementary years, however, there has been some name calling that is changing who he is. Luckily, for us, his experiences have not been rooted in bullying, but rather in edification. My son has been called a mensch, an inspiration. Adults have described him as holding sage wisdom, deep commitment, enthusiasm, articulation. Peers have accused him of being cool, awesome, amazing. Imagine a world where this was the common artery that name calling followed through our schools and communities. Positive messages naturally bleed into the hidden crevices of our children's hearts, feeding their deepest and most meaningful parts. Often, however, we forget this small ingredient of humanity and kindness. Instead, the moments of youth are, for many, filled with whispers and shouts that draw attention to what seems inferior or missing. The power that a single word wields in the self-concept of a child is mind-boggling.
In his own words, my son, with the initials HJW, "LOVES HDT!"Read More