This I Believe

Amelia - Warren, Maine
Entered on May 8, 2006
Age Group: Under 18

There are some lessons that people never get the opportunity to learn. There are some things that are not taught in school, but rather by the experience that life gives you. If you are presented with an opportunity to do what is right, you should reach out and take it, and maybe there will be an underlying lesson that you were supposed to grasp.

All people should learn that there are immature people around no matter where you go, or how old you are. There are people that you will not bond with, and you cannot avoid meeting these people.

Last year I was faced with the decision to stick up for my family and do what was right, or not to. I wanted to take hold of this opportunity that I was being presented with, but I was nervous at the same time. I was only twelve years old, and I was dealing with adults, but I knew what was right, and I was not going to let this chance slide by.

My parents were declined the once in a lifetime chance to go on my eighth grade class trip to New York City with me. There are teachers in my school that dislike my family, so my parents were not allowed to go. Some teachers were showing a lack of professionalism, and they were taking issues out on me that did not involve me at all. They were hurting my chance to have a wonderful experience that would not come to me twice. I am not going on my class trip because of this, and that was my decision. In my opinion, there are not any other people in this world who can take care of me like my parents.

I met with my principal about this issue, and he would not let my parents go. I also went to the superintendent, and she did not want to micromanage, so she left it up to the principal. I did everything that I thought I could do, but nothing seemed to be going my way.

Some people thought that my parents were pushing me into these meetings, and making me talk to the higher authority, but they were wrong. I wanted to do this. This was my idea. I had some questions that I wanted to have answered that were never even allowed to be asked. My principal was censoring what I was allowed to say to specific teachers in my school.

My principal told me that he would make any arrangements that needed to be made in order for me to have a successful year. My family and I decided that it would be best for me to be taken out of a class. When we notified my principal that I wanted a study hall instead of going to this class he said that this would not be able to happen. I was very distraught and confounded. He had made an offer, but backed out on it. The class was not a mandatory class, so what he said had made very little sense to me. He told us that if I was not to take this class that I would have to get picked up every day that I had that class, during that time period, and be back in time for the next class. If I was not in that class room but on school grounds, I would be punished possibly by being expelled.

I wanted to be civilly disobedient to prove a point. I would have done this if I didn’t have anything to loose. This was during basketball season, which would have meant that I could not play. I did not disobey also because I had made honors chorus, and I did not want to give that up because I had gone the year before and had a wonderful time. The last reason that I did not disobey was that I did not want my grades to suffer.

Every day that I have that class, my parents pick me up and take me back to the school so I am not late for the next class. This class is four days a week. They go through a lot for me, and that is why I wanted them with me on this trip. Through all of this, I have learned a very important lesson, and that is more than that one teacher could ever teach me. I learned that even though somebody may win a small battle, they do not always win the war, and no matter how many people there are in life that you may not like, you have to continue on anyway, be professional, and do what you think is right.