Approximately a bazillion years ago, while a student in junior high school (now referred to as middle [muddle?] school, a very serious action took place forcing me take a stand. The entire situation started when (what we then called) a juvenile delinquent produced enough salivary output to rain spit all over the desk and chair of the Assistant Principal of the school. It was a disgusting, grossly unsanitary, supremely disrespectful action taken because this idiot was constantly in that office after breaking school rules. He was regularly in detention for his acts.
As we were in queue to practice our march toward 8th grade “graduation” the moron felt nothing would come about from his actions. Many kids were in close proximity as he spit all over the place. Many more saw it and said nothing, choosing to avoid confrontation rather than be uncomfortably hung with the title of “rat”.
As soon as the mess was discovered, the entire process of graduation practice halted. The school hierarchy banded together, blocked the exits and made everybody line up against the gym wall to hear the pronouncement: “Graduation will be cancelled unless the culprits either turn themselves in or somebody produces the names of who did the deed.”
One-hundred plus kids under the age of 14 became very nervous. Many, if not most parents would be in attendance of the graduation and I wasn’t wild about my parents scheduling a day off without pay to be told later, they couldn’t watch me receive a piece of paper somebody cared enough to give in recognition of us sticking it out and passing our classes.
The delinquent was a violent punk. I’d witnessed him sticking a “buddy” with a stiletto during science class. (This was when a kid could carry a jackknife to school without causing a SWAT intervention.) It was infrequent such violent actions occurred and the punk was “only” sticking (pricking) the other kid’s leg enough to make him uncomfortable. There was little blood loss, but still, I knew the little turd packed a knife daily.
After spending an hour, in 85 degree heat, in an un-air-conditioned gymnasium in June, I decided I wasn’t going to let my parents be adversely affected in ANY way by this intimidating, bullying little jerk. I stepped forward.
Now, I’m not saying this because I’m heroic. As a matter of fact things got remarkably worse before they got better. I’m bringing this up because a 14 year old kid experienced the moral epiphany concerning doing what is right over choosing to simply be expedient in his behavior to avoid personal conflict.
I’d spoken out. I’d done the right thing. And for that effort, the next day, the punk came at me with the knife. I’d made my stand in front of the entire 8th grade assembly. There was no arguing my innocence. He’d been expelled and I was his next target.
I wasn’t a very big kid. I was soft. “Jerk Face” also worked from intimidation and bluster. He moved his hand holding that knife. I hit him so hard he literally flew 8 feet through the air, dropped the knife and landed on his back in the open closet behind him. Luckily, others stepped between us. Another kid picked up the knife, handed it to the Assistant Principal (who was in the area when the creep attacked me) and I was allowed to continue my schooling without extensive scar tissue or dying for the effort. “Jerk Face” was arrested and sent to Reform School as it was called then.
The point of this essay is to emphasize the fact a 14 year old kid knew the difference between right and wrong and took a stand for what was right. He knew others would be adversely affected by the anti-social and immoral actions of somebody feeling himself above and beyond those he bullied. The kid took action and stood (scared to death) against what was wrong and said, out loud: “This is WRONG!” and awaited the potential consequences of his actions where others wouldn’t.
If I could do what was right at the tender age of 14: why can’t Boehner, McConnell, Ryan and the Republican Party do what’s right and stand firm against Obama, Reid, Pelosi and the Democrats bullying them and the American people?
I’m no hero. Not then, not now. But I am an American. I know the difference between right and wrong. I stood then. I stand now. The only question left to answer:
Must I do it alone again?
Thanks for listening.