I decided to share this story with you today. Things have been quiet around here as I work on my autobiography and get out and about to enjoy the last days of summer. And since school is starting, I thought that I would post a story of inclusion. I wrote this back in Creative Writing in junior year of high school. I hope you enjoy.
Grace and Friends
It was the beginning of September and school had begun. The leftovers of a dry, sticky summer still lingered in air. Young Grace Thompson, like all the other schoolchildren in the Northern Wyoming town of Lensbrook had been getting excited about going to first grade until there was trouble.
“How was school today, Grace?” asked Grandma as she entered their one-story house. She switched off the radio.
“Horrible. Nobody treated me fairly.” Grace said pulling a chair out and sitting down for lunch. The sun beamed down on her long, brown hair.
“What do you mean that they didn’t treat you fairly?” inquired Grandma as she sat next to Grace, her purple dress shined in the sun exposing its rips and tears.
“They ignored me at recess and when we were telling about ourselves at Circle Time, I said that I live with you and not my parents. I also said that we were very poor. They all didn’t like that, so I was left out.”
“Just ignore them and they will stop after a while.”
Weeks went by and Grace tried to stop and correct many of the children in her class from making fun of her about her family. She tried explaining to them that she is from a very poor family but she didn’t care about that or not having parents. She was thankful enough for her grandparents. Nothing worked.
“Did you straighten everything out with the children in your class?” asked Grandma when Grace came out on the patio.
“I tried to but they will not listen to me, Grandma.” Grace spoke with a sense of hopelessness.
“You’ve been in school having trouble with these kids for 5 weeks. It’s time for Grandpa and I to say something to your teacher. What’s her name again?”
“Well, we’ve decided to go up to the school and talk to her about this tomorrow morning.” Grandma gently patted Grace’s bony thigh.
Just then, Grace’s grandfather appeared on the porch. He was a tall, slender man with a frail face. His calloused hands reached for the porch swing and seated himself next to Grace.
“How was school today, Grace?” he asked.
Grace told him about how the kids were ignoring and making fun of her. After hearing her story, Grandpa took a deep breath and said, “Well, I’m sure Grandma told you this, but we’re going up to school to talk to Mrs. Clementine about this tomorrow. Don’t worry, Grace. The kids will learn their lesson.”
Question filled Grace’s eyes as she asked, “What’s that?”
“Treat others the way you want to be treated.”
The morning sun shone brightly on the schoolhouse and all the kids were at recess. Suddenly, a black 1924 Ford Model T, about ten years old pulled up in the driveway. Grace’s grandparents strutted up the cement walkway towards the door where Mrs. Clementine greeted them.
“Hello, my name is Mrs. Clementine. Are you Grace’s grandparents?” inquired a young, tall woman. Mrs. Clementine had blue eyes and straight, brown hair, which was tied in a ponytail. She extended her slender arm towards each of Grace’s grandparents
“Yes we are.” Grandpa said, shaking her hand. “Grace says that she is feeling left out by her classmates. Is this true?”
“Yes. They tend to exclude her from a lot of activities.” Mrs. Clementine replied.
“Grace also said that the kids make comments about her not having parents and her coming from a poor family.” Grandma spoke up, agitated. “If it is true, would you please correct them? Yes, we are not wealthy and Grace does live with us, but that shouldn’t affect her socially. Many might not be wealthy either the way our country is right now.”
“I understand.” Mrs. Clementine thought for a while then said, “I’ll make sure to correct their behavior.”
“Thank you, Mrs. Clementine.” Grandpa said, shaking her hand. Grandma did the same. Then, they got in the car and went home.
Mrs. Clementine returned to the schoolhouse and said, “Class, when Grace tries to play with you, please don’t leave her out. Treat people the way you’d want to be treated.”
After that day, Grace made many friends. Nobody left her out again.