Monday, April 20, 2009

Youth of the Nation

I can't believe that it has been 10 years since the Columbine massacre. I remember watching the whole scene unfold live on tv. I was on spring break. It was my senior year of high school. It was scary because it could have easily happened in my suburban high school. The week after the attack I wore my favorite camouflage pants to school. A teacher sent me to the office for being insensitive and for suspecting that I might be up to no good. All because of how I was dressed. I was never one for fitting in. But I wasn't trying to stir up any trouble. I just liked my pants and hadn't thought that wearing them would put me in the same same light as trench coat wearing misfits half-way across the country.

Thankfully, my principal was a reasonable person and didn't discriminate against his students because of their choice of clothing. He just had a little chat with me about how my pants could have possibly stirred up some unwelcome feelings among my peers. And then asked me to be more mindful of my clothing choices in the future. The entire time I felt like he was talking to me about my wardrobe because he felt like he had to - not because he actually agreed with the teacher who had sent me to the office. I'm glad that as an adult living in 2009, I can choose to be different than
some of the closed minded adults I encountered in my youth. A person's character is what matters, not their clothing.

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