#Spirit Day, October 20th. Show your support!

As most of you know, today is the day we all wear purple in honor of #Spirit Day. So, of course it was a big deal at my house. So first let’s start with the good. Here are some pictures from Joie before she went to school this morning.

I know I may be her mother, but I must say she looks darn cute.

Now for the bad. When I picked her up from school, she had a frown on her face. Imagine my shock when she told me that when several children told her that there was no such thing as purple day, her teacher agreed with them. Let me repeat that…a teacher agreed that there was no such thing as anti-bullying day and she did it in front of other students. I don’t know what ticks me off more, the fact that a teacher is so sadly lacking in education on bullying and the efforts to stop it, or the fact that she publicly admonished my daughter. Joie said she felt both embarrassed and sad that people don’t care about bullying as much as she does.

Needless to say, I fired off a letter to one of her secondary teacher and the principle, this is what I wrote:

 I hope this email is reaching the correct person, as I could not find a listing for Joie Hecht’s primary teacher in the directory. Today, Joie told me some distressing news. She wore purple today in honor of the National Wear Purple day to end bullying. She was so proud as she got dressed and anxious to support not only her brother, but countless other children and teens who are the victims of bullying. The movement is nation wide and was started last year in response to the rash of teen suicides that were the result of bullying. However, when Joie got to school she was informed that she was mistaken and that it was not purple day. I was so disheartened to learn that the Holly School District was no aware of this movement and saddened that Joie was made to feel embarrassed for standing up of what she feels is a good cause. I strongly suggest that every teacher and administrator in the district visit the GLADD site, so they can get some more information on this event. I don’t think I need to tell you that not only does bullying not only affect LGBTQ youths, but also numerous other children, so I would hope that your district would learn to embrace this movement.  Here is the link, so you can read about the event for yourself http://www.glaad.org/news/go-purple-thursday-lgbt-youth

Stephani Hecht
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15 Responses to #Spirit Day, October 20th. Show your support!

  1. Chris says:

    Let us know what you hear back. It's sad that the message isn't reaching the places it obviously needs to reach. 🙁

  2. Thanks, Chris. I'll make sure to let you know what their reply is. It's obvious they need to have PFLAG and some other organizations come and speak to the faculty.

  3. Right on! Joie looked adorable, btw. But the fact that this school either didn't know or didn't care to be informed about this movement is extremely disheartening. I look forward to hearing their response as well.-Vic

  4. Shaseli says:

    As a teacher I am appalled by the behavior of this teacher. Your daughter is a fantastic, courage young lady and you have done and continue to do, a wonderful job with her.

  5. *Hugs to Vic* Thanks.Shaseli-Thank you. I think she's pretty fantastic, too.

  6. amber kell says:

    I'm appalled that the teacher took a students side over another student. It would've been better if she asked Joie to explain about the day instead of dismissing the whole thing.

  7. bc says:

    I'm appalled too by this teacher she was a few words away from being a bully. I applaud your daughter for standing up for what she believes in especially at such a young age. That teacher needs more training ASAP. I would have drafted a letter too. She looks awesome btw.

  8. Eeep! I just noticed all the typos and such in the letter I sent them. I guess that's what I get for writing while I'm pissed. LOL

  9. Tawny says:

    Gee it took me all of a minute to go to google, type in national no bully, purple, to get link after link descibing spirit day. So instead of taking to opportunity to guide the class through a leaning experience about the issues of bullying, this teacher decide to shut her one caring student down. WOW! Could have opened some students minds and planted the seeds of compassion. There is another Stand up to Bullying Day campaign planned for November 18th, this one international. I think maybe the whole school should get involved with this one!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Instead of being reactionary and righteous, were you proactive and ensured that the school or the school board celebrated this day? As a concerned parent and advocate, I am surprised that you did not know this about your daughters school. Isn't there a schedule of events for the school either online or on paper? Did you think to speak at an assembly to ensure awareness? I don't think its fair to assume everyone knows about spirit day and leave it up to your young daughter to carry the banner alone.

  11. Tawny-Thanks for the support. I agree, a simple Google search would have told the teacher all she needed to know and I know for certain they have at least one computer in the classroom.

  12. Anon-Thank you for stopping by to comment. Actually, the school has been given multiple opportunities to be educated on this issue. Last year,my son started the first ever GSA at his high school and he was very often rebuffed and chastised by the administration. In fact, a popular network even wanted to include his GSA in a documentary about LGBTQ youth and the issues they face and the administration refused to allow the crew to come to the school and film. Plus, I know of at least two other LGBTQ organizations who have offered to come and give a workshop to the staff and every time the administration has refused. We have ordered "safe school" kits for the school, plus my son literally carried a GSA banner at the final Senior assembly last year. So, I don't think that Joie is carrying the cause by herself, she is just following her brother's example and standing up for what she thinks is right. Joie has a marked speech and learning delay, so she has been the victim of bullying many times. So, this cause meant a lot to her on several different levels.

  13. Jason says:

    As a parent, I would like to address Anon's comment. It's very easy, especially for educators, to place the responsibility back on parents. Yes, parents need to take an active role in their children's education, but we also pay taxes and expect something for it. When my child goes to school, I can't expect the school to always know about things that affect them but I can expect for teachers and school officials to respect my child and their interests. I can think of many ways this situation could have been handled without it upsetting Joie. A child who feels strongly enough about an issue to take this sort of stand should be commended and encouraged by the school, not belittled. From your comment it sounds as if you are saying that it's a parent's responsibility to educate the educators. Seems a bit back-assward to me.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Steph & Jason – I'm not being critical and cudos to Joie – but being a teacher of 25 to 28 students, diverse ethnic back grounds, religions and beliefs plus rules and regulations of the education system – it's hard to incorporate everything to please everyone. So instead of ASSUMING everyone is aware of Spirit Day – a heads up or reminder that it is coming up and your child intends to celebrate it would be appreciated. You have one child to care for while teachers have many more. And I do agree that this situation was not handled correctly but it could have been avoided.

  15. Jason says:

    That is good advice and I will try to keep it in mind in the future. 🙂

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