As I contemplate upon this story, my mind travels to Rosa Parks. This courageous woman was willing to defy the law and make a stand. Who has this kind of courage? What kind of person does it take to stand against the norm or what is accepted as “law”? Who has the ability to make a ripple in history and curb its trajectory?
“On December 1, 1955, African-American seamstress Rosa Parks (1913-2005) was returning home from her job at a local department store on the Cleveland Avenue bus. She was seated in the front row of the “colored section.” When the white seats filled, the driver, J. Fred Blake (1912-2002), asked Parks and three others to vacate their seats. The other African-American riders complied, but Parks refused. She was arrested and fined $10, plus $4 in court fees.” – Montgomery Bus Boycott
There are two key phrases above worthy to highlight:
- The other African-American riders complied
- Parks refused
Doesn’t this exemplify the parallels of today?
There are those who are quietly complying with the “laws”, being good boys and girls, men and women. Quietly taking marching orders, and doing exactly what they are asked to do.
Then there are those who refuse. (Despite the complacent souls all around them).
Declare, “Enough is Enough!”
Rosa Parks’ small act of refusing to give up her seat, spearheaded the Montgomery Bus Boycott, and is regarded as the first large scale demonstration against segregation in the U.S. The boycott of public buses by blacks, in Montgomery, began on the day of Parks’ court hearing and lasted 381 days.
Wrapped within this story is a hidden little nugget.
Nine months before Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat, 15-year old Claudette Colvin (1939- ) was arrested for the same act. The city’s black leaders were going to stage a protest, but it was found out Claudette was pregnant with a child. Therefore, they deemed her an inappropriate symbol for the cause.
Such were the times.
However, this does not negate the fact a 15 year old had the moxie (courage) to refuse. A fifteen year old, young, black woman, stood against the “powers that be” and the “law”, in a time when African Americans were looked down upon and considered less than those in charge.
The following young woman sent me this story yesterday. There is no doubt she possesses the same fearless spirit of Rosa and Claudette. A young woman, with a bright future ahead, speaks out, speaks up, and takes a stand.
High School Senior Challenges The Reptilian Monster
I am a senior attending a high school in Bellingham, Washington.
I was in Algebra 2 this a.m. when my teacher started to excuse the juniors in my class to practice for the Smarter Balance Assessment. I stood up in the back of the room where my desk is and said, “You do NOT have to take the test, you can opt out.”
My teacher, we will call her ‘Mrs. L’, said, “No, you kids need to go, and if you don’t take it, you will be suspended.”
I then said “No, that is wrong, it is not required what so ever.”
She then excused the kids and told me to go on up to the office. I said “Fine, but I know I am right.”
I go up to the office and the principal, ‘Mr. K’ asked me, “What’s up? Why did you get sent up here?”
I said, “I just told the kids that they can opt out from the SBA and ‘Mrs. L’ told me to come up here.”
He said “Okay, I’ll be right back.”
I was not put in any of the offices in the main office. He just told me to sit in a chair next to the main office secretary. My counselor never came in. ‘Mr. K’ never left the office. He came back about 10-15 minutes later, looked at me and just said “Alright, go back to class (me).”
I never got written up, my parents were not called, and nothing that I know of went into my file. Even if it did, I don’t care. I stood up for what I believe in and I graduate in 40 days. This is the first time I have EVER been sent to the office. We will see how the rest of the week goes. Practice testing is for the rest of the week, and the real testing is happening for the next two weeks. I plan to speak up every day until everyone knows.
Here is the Facebook event link that the kids from three Bellingham High schools have made. You can share this on your blog also: https://www.facebook.com/events/1055265677834398/
Thanks so much!
A High School Senior with a Conscience (emphasis mine)
I’m extremely proud of the youth from these three Bellingham High Schools. They are refusing to blindly follow a state “mandate” and are willing to use their voices and boycott what is ethically wrong. Read their stand:
This is the courage it will take to rid our nation of the Toxic Testing Snakes.
In honor of the brave, young lady who stood up in the back of her classroom, and to all the gutsy students attending a Bellingham High School, I dedicate the following:
“Robert Kennedy once said that few will have the greatness to bend history,
but each of us can work to change a small portion of events,
and in the total of all those acts,
will be written in the history of a generation.”
I personally thank each of you for being dauntless. Your stand for what is right and true will make a difference in the future of many children… including your own you may have someday.
RAZ ON FIRE