Once upon a time, there was a kindergarten teacher at a local elementary school. Her name was Miss Liberty.
On the first day of school, 25 children came in, excited to learn and to grow into great minds. Every child came in to the classroom with their own ideas and creativity. It was the first step to change the world.
However, each child wore one of three colored shirts.
12 children wore blue shirts, 12 children wore red shirts, and 1 child wore green. The children looked around at each other and noticed the diversity of colors. They had never seen those colors of shirts before. They grew puzzled wondering why other children wore a different color shirt.
One of the students, Libby, wore a blue shirt and constantly gossiped about the other children. “I don’t know why they like red better,” she said “Clearly, blue is the best choice.”
Another one of the students, Conner, wore a red shirt. “Those kids are so dumb,” he said. “Red shirts are obviously the way to go.”
Each child wore their same color of shirt everyday at school, never daring to wear the other. The children often complained about other the children’s color of choice, but Miss Liberty gave them same answer every time: “Everybody has the right to wear the color of their shirt.”
One day, Miss Liberty gave the students the freedom to pick their seats. She encouraged students to mix around and find new friends, but the children insisted. The reds sat on the rights side of the classroom and the blues sat on the left. All the red children sat around Conner and all the blue children sat around Libby. One child, Abel, sat in the middle, for he had a green shirt. “Green is too close to blue, so he doesn’t belong with the red shirts,” said Conner. Libby retorted by saying, “If he is not a blue, he is not one of us.” Abel sat in the middle of the classroom, quiet and alone.
Children often bickered in gym class about their soccer teams. The blue shirts cried out, “You always score more points than us! You need to lets us score too!” The reds retorted, “Why should we? We both have the same amount of people on our team.” While the 24 students refused to settle, Abel wished he could be included in the soccer game as well.
The bickering continued in the cafeteria, on the bus, at the playground, day after day. These children would just not cooperate with other children, due to the color of their shirt. The reds often made a mess in the cafeteria while the blues often leave their desks untidy. The reds often called out the blues, and the blues often called out the reds. “The blues keep their books out, cluttering up the tables!” The blues without haste snapped back. “At least we can see our tables, where we cannot see the tile on the cafeteria floor because it is so messy!” Abel, again, kept his mouth closed.
When Miss Liberty announced that they will have votes for a class president, all eyes looked towards Conner and Libby. Jamie, a blue shirt, also considered running for president. Jamie mentioned it to some other blue shirts, but they all denied support. “We need to vote for Libby, or else a red shirt will win!” they cried. Jamie never spoke out of turn again. On the other side, Taylor also considered a campaign. But like the blues, the reds cried out against it. “Do you want Libby to become president? She’s no good!” Taylor decided to sweep new ideas under the rug. When it came to campaigns, Conner and Libby thought of multiple ideas. All good ideas, but each one condemned the other. Libby suggested, “We should have extended recess sessions to take our minds off of class for a few more minutes.” Conner protested, “I think we should cut it shorter so we can focus more on our studies.” Back and forth, day after day they went. Finally, the votes were in. Shockingly, when they read them out, there were three candidates. 12 for Libby, 12 for Conner, and 1 for Abel. The classroom uproared. Mean words and rude comments flashed between the children until they realized that the deciding vote was wasted on Abel.
“Why did you vote for yourself?!” the reds interrogated Abel. “You could have voted for Conner!”
“Libby can’t lead us because of you!” screamed the blues. “I can’t believe for voted yourself. There is no way you were going to win!”
For the first time ever, Abel spoke to the class. “Well…” he began. “I just…I…I mean, I didn’t…I didn’t think either of you would do very well…”
24 jaws dropped. Libby screamed at the top of her lungs. Conner flipped his desk. How dare Abel speak out against the two students. Libby and Conner made Abel go into the corner everyday from then on and did not allow him to participate in any other class activities.
The principle of the school received dozens and dozens of complaints from the parents of the students in Miss Liberty’s class. “Why are there so many complaints from my daughter about such bullying in the classroom?!” read one. “Why is my child having anger management problems ever since he started school? He is regularly calling me rude names!” read another. “Where is Miss Liberty in all of this?! Why hasn’t she done anything to control her classroom?!”
Why hasn’t Miss Liberty done anything to prevent this?
Why hasn’t Miss Liberty done anything?