Help Me Understand

This morning on the way to work, I heard Torrence Collier,  11 year old, interviewed.  And my heart broke.  You see he has been bullied because of race; adults escort him wherever he goes for his own safety.  And he has been granted a space in a school that is 40 minutes away.  And my anger rose.

Help me understand why the child who has been bullied has to leave.  Doesn’t that mean racism wins?

Recently Angela Brown taught my daughter’s kindergarten class that the witnesses to racism need to speak up.  The bully/racist only has power when their words and actions are left unchecked by those who watch, giving silent approval.  Voiced disapproval changes the social dynamics and wipes away the power of the bully/racist.

Who is speaking up for this child?  Who will speak up?

I live in a country where racism is considered a human rights violation.  According to section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms:

” (1) Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.”

So how can this lad receive equal treatment and access to education in his town?

Who says that an assembly will stop behaviours?  Who believes this is enough?  Education can impact over the long haul, but behaviours have an individual and a social context that needs to be addressed.  Complex problems deserve complex responses.

Obviously, this has touched a nerve for me, but not just the clear in home nerve.  I know a child of another race who changed schools last year for related reasons.  Can’t the adults put systems in place?  try a variety of responses?

I do know that there can always be more to the story (Proverbs 18:17), but I do want to know why there aren’t systems in place to address this kind of behaviour.  The adults are ridiculously in charge

Who is ridiculously in charge of the school?

Quotes from Henry Cloud found on Paul Kandavalli’s blog

  • As a leader, you are always going to get a combination of two things: What you create and What you allow.
  • Leaders, through a handful of essential boundaries, make sure  certain things happen, prevent other things from happening, and keep it all moving forward.
  • Leaders are a positive force for good and a negative force against bad.
  • Strong leaders set up the kind of culture and structures that will deal with negative behavior quickly and effectively so that it never takes root.

The child’s school is named St. Peter’s Academy.  The irony of being named after Christ’s disciple who was granted a vision and then said, “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, 35 but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.  . . .”  Acts 10:34-35

Can we speak up and bear witness and say no?

Help me understand how this can be stopped.


The one who states his case first seems right,

until the other comes and examines him.  Proverbs 18:17

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