My Name is Sarah

MY NAME IS SARAH. I am a quilt designer and the sewcial director of Sarah's Sewcial Lounge. I also have a business called Down Right Charming. I sell my quilts mostly on etsy and I make pillowcases to donate to patients in the hospital in memory of my friend Kristen Kirton. I am a young adult living with Down syndrome. I hope you enjoy reading about my life journey.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

A Case Study for Parents: What would you Do?

Setting: A high school football game in the district RG resides
Main Characters: RG - female age 12 and ME - male friend of RG age 12(the one writing the report)

At about 7:00 P.M. I bought my ticket at the ticket booth at the front gate of the West Geauga football game. I entered the game and RG and I found some friends that she knew. Their names were TG, JR, BK and a couple other girls I do not know the names of. For about 10 minutes we just stood around near the entrance concession stand and talked about miscellaneous things. After that we decide to go find other friends such as RC, JE, and MD. When we find them we all get to say hi because I have known them from earlier experiences because I have hung out with them before and seen them many times with RG. When we find them we all make our way to the grass area to the left of the home stands at the football game. We are all there having fun just talking till about 6:20 left in the 3rd quarter and a kid named Gus shows up right next to us with a couple of his friends. At first we don’t really notice him till one of RG’s friends spots him out and RG says “Oh no.’’ A little time goes by and with about 2:20 now on the clock RG and Gus get into a little confrontation with RG slapping him. Gus proceeds to say the word “retard” about 4-5 times and this angers me because I have a sister who is mentally retarded so by the 6th time Gus says “Alright RG you’re still the most retarded person” and this angers me even more and I proceed to punch him in the face three times under is his eye near the cheek. After that Gus grabs me and then lets go and that was the end of the fight for that time. Everyone is shocked including me and we go our separate ways and do not see each other for the rest of the night. After the fight it starts the 4th quarter and RG and I continue to hang out with MD, TG, BK, JR, and a couple other people I cannot remember. Through the 4th quarter we continue to stay in the grass area with our friends and find no other trouble throughout the night. At the end of the game RG and I find RG’s little brother and proceed to the front entrance to find RG’s Dad who is with RG’s sister and her friend. We have to wait to let the football players go into the locker room and once they are done we head toward the car at 9:12 P.M. And leave the West Geauga football game.

Things to think about:

If you were the parent of ME, what would you do?

If you were the parent of Gus, what would you do?

Should the authorities be notified?

Are assault charges appropriate for ME?

Should RG and ME be suspended from school?


Molly said...

If I was the parent of ME I'd applaud my child for standing up for his sibling, but tell him that there is NO room for violence in advocacy. He needs to get used to hearing things he doesn't like, but he needs to fight with his WORDS. NOT his fists. If he uses his fists the message is lost.

If I was the parent of Gus I'd be mortified by my child's language.

I do not believe that it would be appropriate to notify police, but would suggest that Gus and his parents come over to discuss why the R word isn't appropriate. and possibly let him meet the sibling of ME. I'm assuming that this happened in the past with one of your children?

Molly said...

Sorry, just to clarify, when I say "he needs to get used to hearing things he does not like" I'm not advocating complacency, rather I am advocating being able to stay rational and non violent when hearing something that you do not like.

Oh, and I'm not a parent, but I answered any way. Hope that's ok!

Kim said...

Hmm... Well for parents of kids who happen to have mental retardation, and obviously for their siblings who may be especially sensitive, a punch to the face of a big jerk may seem like a reasonable defense.

Thing is, a punch to the face of someone who ignorantly pisses you off is just not acceptable. Of course, using the "r" word is offensive, and I think, a form of verbal abuse in certain circumstances. I assume the student that Gus was calling "r" was not actually cognitively delayed. If that is true, then Gus's use of the word was just ignorant, in poor taste, and a bad choice.

ME gave Gus no verbal reprimand for using the word, he just lashed out.

So, I think ME and Gus should both be suspended for their unsavory behavior. Should there be files charged? No way. People jump to that so quick these days.

If I were Gus's parents, he'd be in big trouble for offensive language. Time for a lesson in diversity.

If I were ME's parents, he would be in trouble for violence. There are better ways to educate one's peers about the "r" word.

Mel said...

Was it a school event? If so suspension may be appropriate, for both boys. If not, then it would not be, as it has nothing to do with school. I do not think the police should be involved either, as these are children, and this is part of their learning journey. Gus needs to learn that his mouth can get him into trouble, and I suspect he is well on the way to learning that lesson! Hopefully his parents will take the opportunity to speak with him and enlighten him further. If the parents are of that mind set, it would be good to get the boys together and heal the rift.

For ME, I applaud the way he has stood up for his family and his values. However violence is not ok, and has landed him in a power of trouble. Maybe some suggestions of what he could do, and examples of peaceful protest such as Ghandi and Martin Luther King jr would help? Cream always rises to the top :)

Leah said...

Well, it seems like Gus started something, but it also seems like RG was the first one to swing. RG should be suspended for that swing. If Gus said something that could be considered harassment, then Gus should be suspended as well. For ME, it wasn't your argument, it was RGs'. As rotten as it is, you're going to hear the R word throughout your life, but I can tell you, even us parents have a hard time containing ourselves sometimes! If found that it's very helpful to come up with some scripts that I keep in my head for situations where the word comes up. Rarely will I let it slide without saying something about it. Maybe your parents could help you come up with something that is both appropriate to say, but also lets you express your irritation at the use of the word. So, I think Gus' suspension is up in the air, since we don't know what Gus said other than the R world. But I think RG and ME should definitely get suspended since they were actually swinging.