Saturday, January 26, 2013

I Never Thought I Would See the Day

When we got back to school after the long weekend, I began a discussion about the inauguration.  Some of the students were very aware that it was happening, others... well, not so much.  After a discussion about elections and the peaceful transfer of power in the United States, I asked the students what impressed them about the ceremony and the celebrations from Washington DC.  Students commented on the parade, Beyonce and Kelly Clarkson, and how the First Lady and First Daughters were dressed.

One boy raised his hand and when I called on him he said, "I was very proud of the President for saying that Gays and Lesbians should be treated like everyone else".  I held my breath as this has always been a tricky subject with third and fourth graders.  I was waiting for eye rolling, chuckles, negative comments, and uncomfortable reactions, as this has always happened in the past.  As the sister of a gay man who has adopted two beautiful children with his partner, I worry that this situation will come up in the school life of my niece and nephew and they will have to find a way to answer comments that come from unenlightened classmates.  

So as students raised their hands I chose the next child carefully.  He said, "It is important for everyone to find love." No eye rolling, no chuckling, no comments came forth.  I started breathing again.  I added to the discussion by saying that the President said that everyone in our country no matter who we are, who we love, where we come from or what we do, we all make up the community that is the United States.  Each one of us is important and each one has a role to play. 

Obama ran for his first term as President on "HOPE and CHANGE".  I have witnessed it and can testify that there is hope and change has come.

I am so proud of my brother and his family.  I am hopeful that my niece and nephew will have a peaceful, joyful, and academically challenging school experience.  I see our future when I look at these amazing children.

I am also proud of the students in my class and their families.  They are accepting, open minded, and have great big hearts.  I see our future when I look at these amazing children.

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