Teach Children To Be Tolerant Of Each Other

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Editor:

I am the mother of the student who was stabbed on Tuesday, Aug.14. My son was stabbed because someone else didn't like the way he looked, dressed or wore his hair.

I have always been under the impression that America was the land of the free. There are so many different types of people in this country, with everyone having different beliefs, styles and ways of life. Is this not what makes our country so great?

The diversity of all the different groups that make up the whole, which is our country?

Why is it that a certain group of children at the high school think that they have the right to tell other children how they should dress or wear their hair? How is it also that the school facility has turned a blind eye to this growing problem?

My son and his friends have been repeatedly harassed while sitting in front of the guidance office of the school, while school staff have walked right on by, doing nothing to stop the harassment.

Friday, before my son was stabbed, the boy who stabbed my son and four of his friends surrounded my son, saying to him "why are you wearing black, you aren't black, why do you wear your hair that way? You shouldn't wear black or have your hair like that, we don't like it."

My son walked away from these children, after telling them to leave him alone and that he didn't want to have any problems with them.

On Monday the 13 of August, the same five children harassed my son before school started.

The group of children that have been harassing my son and his friends don't just verbally harass them, they throw rocks at people who they think are different, push them around and call them names.

Why should our children be afraid to go to school? Shouldn't it be safe for them while they are at school.

I thought that there was a zero-tolerance policy at our school? Am I wrong? Or does it just count for the children who dress "normal"? These children who dress different "so-called goth or emo" should be able to dress how they want and wear their hair how they think is right for them.

If anyone has a say in how they dress and wear their hair, it is the child's parent, if the parent is OK with the way their child is dressing then no one else should have a problem with it.

These children who are harassing the different ones are narrow-minded. They judge others by not only what they wear, but they also judge people in their own group, by what name brands they wear.

If a child isn't wearing what is considered popular at the time, they are picked on. Is it not sad that our children are more or less being told to conform like everyone else or they will be an outcast?

Does no one else think this is so wrong?

My child was hit in the head while walking back to school from lunch on Tuesday. My son turned around to yell at whoever threw the rock at him, to tell them to knock it off. A fight ensued, with both boys hitting each other.

My son was stabbed while laying on the ground with the other boy on top of him. After the other boy stabbed my son, he and his friends yelled disturbing comments to my son and then ran back to school.

My son's friends, who were there, helped him to the middle school, where school staff then took over. One thing that really disturbs me is the fact that the high school was never locked down.

They caught the child who stabbed my son, yes, but not the other four children who were with him. Could they not have had weapons on them also? No one knew?

My son has already been hurt, both him and I do not want anyone else getting hurt.

What will it take for the people in charge to finally handle this ongoing problem? Does someone have to die (like my son could have) for them to finally decide that there has to be something done?

I hope that no other parent ever has to get a phone call like I did.

Please, parents, teach your children tolerance of others!

Trisha Ely

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