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jessie

An open letter to the extraordinary student leaders at Richardson High School who took a stand and won our hearts.

 
An open letter to the extraordinary student leaders at Richardson High School who took a stand and won our hearts.
Posted November 15th, 2013 @ 5:04pm

FUMCR Youth Group video inspired by the guest speaker at Richardson High School this past week.

Richardson High School had an assembly for students that featured a motivational speaker who (on his website) has some fascinating and seriously antiquated dating advice such as "dateable girls know how to shut up" and "dateable guys know they aren’t as sensitive as girls, and that’s okay. and "Dateable guys know that porn is bad for the spirit and the mind. They keep women covered up."  And those ideas crossed over into the talk he gave and some of the students were not having it. 

Dear Richardson High School Administrators congratulations...you invited a speaker that tested the hearts and spines of every student in your care. By your speakers own admission not one student in 4000 previous programs had ever questioned his presentation before. It says something amazing about your student's mettle that they did.

Students who know it is 2013 & understand the significance of his unfortunate gender stereotypes. They knew in their hearts that the young women in your care should ALWAYS be encouraged to use their voices to speak up for themselves and others. They know at their core that women should be regularly taught that strength, self-sufficiency and courage are not bad or limited to boys and neither is the daring adventure of opening a bottle of ketchup.

These students understand that the young men in your care should regularly be taught that sensitivity is not a trait inherent only to women and that for a man to have any is not only a sign of power & strength it also hones their ability to show empathy and compassion which is something all humans need in a modern sentient world. These young future leaders also know that it is not up to them to control women by "covering them up."

The only control is self control. That is a lesson we could all benefit from. Self control comes from self respect and respect for others no matter they wear. We should be teaching future generation to stop judging people on appearances because what is essential is not visible to the eye. 

The principle's attempt at an apology with the "I am sorry you were offended" approach was not acceptable and the strong and brave students of Richardson High School knew this and have continued to speak out. 

Huzzah to you, the students of Richardson High School, who stood up against questionable advice and in the process likely inspired independent free thinking intelligent yet silent souls too scared to speak. You thought you would receive a lesson and became the bearers of a beautiful one yourselves.

You used your collective voice and now the next stage of the conversation begins. It is up to all of us as a community to make sure the lessons we are bringing to the next generation are intelligent and thoughtful and that encourage eloquent debate, growth and humanity. 

When I was in high school my mom's greatest gift to me was: “The world is yours, set it on fire.” I pass that wonderful torch to you, the radiant vocal students of Richardson High School, you are the light on the path to a vibrant and more sophisticated future for yourselves and for the generations to come.

~Jessie,

November 2013

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