April 24th, 2012who do you hope you are
The beauty of an apology is that everyone wins because it reveals not only who we are, but who we hope we are. – A teacher, a student and a 39-year-long lesson in forgiveness.
A Christian school, for the most part, is not that different from a public school. Aside from the curriculum and the smaller class size (due mostly to the cost, I suspect), the kids are still kids. The schools I went to in elementary and high school were so small that I can still remember the names of my classmates – first and last. I can recall the groups, who got along best with who and in particular, the few kids who were different. My graduating class had 29 students, roughly half of whom I had been in school with since second grade, and the other half who I’d known since ninth. It makes for a very tight overall group – even if we weren’t always hanging out together, we were always a unit to everyone outside of the class.
And we were a unit that made it hard for new kids to join – particularly if they didn’t fall into one of the “groups” that already existed. There was the group from my elementary school and the group from another Christian elementary school. Then those groups were broken down into those who went to the Presbyterian church where our high school was located and those who didn’t. And then there were the outliers, the kids who were transfers over our four years there and even kids who started in ninth grade, but didn’t fit into one of the groups.
I know their names, and I remember when they left (only a couple made it all four years) and I wonder now if they felt bullied or hurt because they weren’t included. High school is hard, private or public, and the rest of us should’ve made it easier. We were, after all, a religious school.
There’s no big bullying event or series of events I can remember. It’s possible they didn’t feel bullied at all, maybe just left out (my memory is shit), but being left out can be just as damaging.