Saturday, July 14, 2012

Stand for the Right

I suppose I am just like every other mother out there who loves their kids so much and is always proud of them and who they are. But there are moments when you are so very proud of them that it hurts, that you marvel at their strength and courage and wonder where they got it.
I had such a moment with this guy just as school was ending for the year.
Tate came home from school one afternoon in tears. He was so upset that he could not even express what was going on, I figured someone had beat him up on the way home from school, or his little heart had broken some how. After quite some time he was able to calm down and tell me what had happened.
It turns out that he had a substitute teacher that afternoon in class that was way out of line. They were learning about Canada in class and Tate of course "knows" everything about Canada, having been born there and living there for 3 years! So when his teacher asked the class what the predominant religion in Canada was, his hand shot up and his answer was "the Mormons". Of course, that is the wrong answer, but in his defense, almost every Canadian that Tate knows really is Mormon.
The substitute then told him, "No, I mean Christian religion."
Tate replied, "Mormons are Christians."
"No, they are NOT," was her answer.
Tate then said, "I am a Mormon and I am a Christian, we believe in Jesus Christ."
Her response should have been to end the conversation, but she continued. "Mormons are not Christians, they do not believe in Jesus Christ, they don't even believe in the Bible."
Tate did not back down, he responded one more time, "Yes, we do."
"Well, they are not the right kind of Christians." Conversation over.

I was livid when he recounted this story to me, I was irate, I was furious. I have had many such conversations over my lifetime when people question me about my religion, but never in second grade, never as an eight year old with an adult questioning me.

I didn't know what to do. My political issue husband was not reachable at the time and I had to get something out to his teacher and principal to ensure that that particular substitute would not be in his class room the next day.

After many meetings with the teacher and principal everything turned out well. Tate has strengthened his testimony of the gospel, he stood as an example of standing for what was right, he set a great example to all those in his classroom and the staff at his school, his parents and siblings, and many others.

When asked about the situation, the substitute claimed that the conversation had never happened, that Mormon's had not even been brought up. She refused an apology and any wrong doing. Both Tate's full time teacher and principal were convinced that Tate had been truthful because of the kind of student he had been all year long, because of his honesty and good citizenship in all areas of life, not to mention the perplexity of the story and why/how an 8 year old child would make that up.

I am proud of my son and that he is not afraid to stand up for what is right. He is an example of courage and commitment. I must strive to be more like him.

"Ordinary people who faithfully, diligently and consistently, do simple things that are right before God, will bring forth extraordinary results." 
- David A. Bednar


Anna said...

i loved this story. What a strong little guy. we have no need to fret for our future when the younger kids are as strong as him in their convictions! thanks for sharing!

Lia said...

Wow! Kara, you should be so proud! Thanks for sharing this story. What a great reminder of courage and character and the importance of them both and how they will benefit one possessed of both.

Elena said...

Wow- my heart soared for you. High five to that little guy.

Anna said...

Way to go Tate!! So proud of you standing firm and being respectful about it to boot. And way to go to you Kara and Ryan for being the parents you've been to teach your children well! That sub had no business debating with a second grade student about religion that way, and then to deny the whole thing? Good grief.

Natalie said...

We are very proud of Tate too. I still don't think my kids would have said a thing in their defense of Mormons. What an amazing young man Tate it!

Sarah said...

What a kid!!! You are doing something right that he would even have that conversation. Way to be.

Katie said...

What a wonderful boy. My heart hurts that this happened to him, but it is something he will learn from I'm sure.

Kristi said...

What a strong kid tate is! He has great parents to teach him:) He will remember the story, but not the part where he cried, just that he stood up for his beliefs:)

TL said...

Love that boy, such a great example to us all!