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How a Parent 'Brought an Entire High School to Its Knees'

How a Parent 'Brought an Entire High School To Its Knees'

Bullying continues to be an issue in schools across the U.S.. Luckily, there are steps educators and parents can take in order to "stand up" to bullying. One particular story proves just that.

A high school in Utah recently saw what the effects of bullying can have on a school when the father of the captain of the basketball team stepped in, according to an article on Chad Hymas, a senior at West Jordan High School in Salt Lake City hosted his basketball team at his house for dinner, and the team began to say unkind things about a girl the article names "Jenny."

"Jenny was a very smart young lady," the article said. "She had a lovely smile that she always wore and long dark hair. But she also had a number of visible disabilities. Jenny was confined to a wheelchair and was blind in both eyes. She was missing one arm, and her other arm and hand had limited functionality. When she ate, she wore a pink bib to protect her clothes from the inevitable spill. She also had difficulty with speech, so she carried a computer with her that could speak for her when she typed out words on an oversized and simplified keyboard."

When Chad's father, Kelly, overheard the conversation, he decided to take action. The next day at school, Chad's father "unexpectedly walked into the school cafeteria."

"I’m here to teach you how to stand up,” he said. “And I need you and the team to follow me right now and take me to Jenny.”

Chad's father walked up to Jenny and introduced himself and the team, and "then started asking questions so everyone could get to know her better. It took half an hour for her to answer only four questions, but it was worth the time," the article said.

The article then highlights "the four questions that brought a high school to its knees." One of the questions was who is Jenny's best friend. She answered "my mother, Stacy."

The last question was "what is it you dream of and love to do most?"

"I like listening to the girls cheer at the basketball games," Jenny responded, the article said. "What Jenny loves to do the most is listen to the girls cheering for the very boys who the night before had said such awful things about her."

Over the next few weeks, the school saw a big change. Jenny "was elected captain of the cheerleading squad. She was outfitted with a skirt, joined the rest of the girls courtside, and learned to twirl circles in her wheelchair."

"For the rest of her high school career, Jenny still sat at the same table for lunch. But it was no longer empty," the article said.

“They couldn’t make a table big enough for everyone that wanted to sit with Jenny after that,” Chad said.

Read the full story and comment below. 

Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor

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