This morning I came across a wonderful picture/post that I had read a few years back (Thanks FB Memories!). It really got me thinking, marinating, and then stewing. It happens too much. Everyday. We (I use that term holistically for children and adults) use labels. All. The. Time!
Why? Can’t we shine in our unique ways? Isn’t it OK to be #YOU? If my brain, body, or personality glitters in its own way, why is that not alright?
Special Ed. Gay. Bi. Dumb. GATE. Slow. Behavior Problem. Bully. Jerk. The list goes on, and on, and on. I would challenge you to see if you could go a whole day without hearing one of these labels, or worse.
From the White House, to the news, to schools, playgrounds, street corners and homes. The labeling continues. Why is it OK that our President can make fun of people of color, or from 3rd world countries or with learning challenges and have no one push back? Why has it become fine for staff members to write on student information cards: Behavior Problem, Needs to be separated from X, Should be in SpEd…Let’s wipe it clean. Stop it now. Can’t we be cool with all of us doing our own thing as long as we don’t bother and hurt someone else?
Words Do Matter, my friends. And if we use a label enough, we become it. It is the way it is. Go look at a student’s cume file some time. There it is: GATE, TRUANT, SUSPENDED. I get it. Some things we need to identify so that we are able to address issues, make connections, get background and then foster the relationship. But it does need to become us. We are better than this!
I challenge you to make a stand. Stop using labels. And, when you hear them, push back in a fashion that is kind, but direct: “Please don’t use that term”, or something similar. If we all work together, focused on helping us ALL, and uniting the work we do, it would be mind blowing to see how amazing we’d become.
Let’s start today. In schools, playgrounds and at home. Remove labels from all humans. Let’s retrain our young children not to say them, believe them, or hear them. That way, we may be able to help prevent a beautiful soul from harming them-self, or buying in to the BS. We’ve had enough tragic endings and suicides from people believing what others say. Start now with the littles, and we can positively change our cultural missteps.
It won’t be easy. But who really cares. Easy is lame. Easy is so 1970’s. Let’s help those that need us the most.
Humans. People. Children. Adults.
It will take work. But I believe we CAN. Do you?
#OneDropOfKindness #PushBoundEDU #CompelledEDU