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Let's nurture positivity in our students

Posted: November 11, 2008 7:50 p.m.
Updated: November 12, 2008 4:55 a.m.
With the recent tragedy at Vasquez High School, I thought it was important to share a couple stories of kindness and heart.

Darren is an eighth-grader at Rancho Pico Junior High. He attended our October dance on Friday, Oct. 24.

Darren is a regular kid, with an outgoing personality and great sense of humor. Darren spent the dance hanging out with one of our special-needs students who is confined to a wheelchair.

He made sure she had a great time and even danced with her. I know he allowed her to have an unforgettable night. Traditionally a special-needs child would be a target for unkindness on a junior high campus. However, time after time I witness the opposite here at Rancho Pico Junior High.

I watched during lunch as Jordan, another regular education student, walked comfortably alongside a developmentally delayed student. I told her how proud I was of her and how she was making a real difference in the life of that student. She corrected me, stating that it was the special-needs students who were making a difference in her life.

I think it is important that our community hear these stories of our young heroes and the difference they make in each others' lives every day. I don't suggest we put on rose-colored glasses and ignore the suffering many students endure at the hands of their peers. Bullying does exist in schools and must be addressed and prevented.

However, I fear that if stories, such as the tragedy in Acton, are left to stand on their own, we will begin to lose hope in our young people. They are strong, courageous and kind. Let's always remember to nurture and recognize this.


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