Northern Wyoming Daily News - Serving the Big Horn Basin for over 100 years

By Karla Pomeroy
Editor 

Different worlds, different attitudes

 

May 27, 2017

Friday was a day of mixed emotions. While getting ready for work I had the news on and heard a report of some Texas teachers who gave out mock awards this week, giving "most likely to be a terrorist" award to a good student.

I was shocked. What were these teachers thinking? Well the fact was these teachers were not thinking at all. Whether in jest, joking or not, it was wrong. No ifs, ands, or buts. In a world where we try to prevent bullying the teachers took bullying to a new level and called it mock awards.

The student didn't return to class this week, according to media reports, because "she feels uncomfortable." Probably not the intended consequence the teachers had in mind, but the fact is they didn't think it through. They didn't think about how this young, seventh-grade girl would feel.

How, in a world where you can't turn on the news without hearing about a terror attack did they think this was a good idea? Now this young girl, apparently a good student with no discipline problems, will get to carry this mock award around with her. Her peers have heard it. It's on the news and the internet. The teachers can't take this back.

I can just hear one of her classmates the next time this young girl might be upset about something "oh look out she could become a terrorist."

Our teachers are to be our leaders for our children, role models, friends to our children, a person students can go to when they are in trouble. I doubt these teachers have anyone seeking their advice.

It brings to mind, in stark contrast to Texas, a comment from one of our retiring teachers, Linda Decker. In reflecting on her career she said she will miss the students, remarking, "I love the kids and the hugs, the 'Mrs. Decker, you're the best,' [comments]."

In no way can I ever imagine Mrs. Decker giving one of her students a mock "most likely to be a terrorist" award. I doubt she'd even think about doing it.

Now fast forward a few hours and I'm off on a photo assignment - Worland Middle School students doing community service throughout Worland, helping with landscaping projects at parks, churches and the fairgrounds. And who do we see helping the students - that's right the teachers. Our Worland teachers and administrators are setting the example, working with the students to help the community.

They are not making up mock awards to bully students or make them feel bad.

Kudos to Principal Ryan Clark, the teachers and the students for giving back to this community, for taking pride in the community and taking ownership in this community.

The students worked hard but had fun as well.

And, after feeling frustrated when the morning started I'm now smiling, glad I live in Worland, Wyoming, ... and not Texas.

***

I also want to take a moment to wish everyone a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend. Remember this weekend is remembering our service men and women who served our country and paid the ultimate sacrifice while serving the United States of America.

If you are so inclined, plan on attending the Memorial Day services by the American Legion Post 44 at the Riverview Memorial Gardens cemetery at 11 a.m. in Worland, or the Ten Sleep Cemetery at 2:30 p.m., both on Monday. The services provide a great reminder of what we are observing this weekend.

 
 

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