I heard the most interesting story today. It's a true story. Yes, I know, I'm a writer and should be spending my time immersed in the world of my fiction. However, once in a while I come up for air and to see what's going on in the “real world.”
Tonight, a friend told me this true story. (Names, places and most identifying clues have been edited out because, well, just because.) This person teaches third grade in a fairly mellow, suburban elementary school. My friend had an extremely difficult class this year, and with only two weeks left before summer break, they're about at their wits end. Apparently the class has been horrible since the beginning, and they've only gotten worse.
Well, one girl (my friend described her as one of those kids who will never go bad no matter what life throws at them) did something that I'm not sure I would have had the guts to do in third grade.
Apparently this girl's friend manipulated a classmate into stealing something for her. We'll call her bad girl. So bad girl talked some other classmate into stealing for her. Stealer got caught, bad girl was identified, they both got punished.
My friend, the teacher, witnessed good girl telling bad girl that because of what she'd done, good girl didn't feel like she should play with bad girl. Good girl even went as far as to say that she didn't want to hurt bad girl's feelings, but she couldn't play with her if she was going to do bad things.
She's in third grade. What's that, like 9 years old?
If only we were all so stalwart in what we believed. Let me rephrase. If only I was so stalwart in what I believed.