After lunch, I am racing down the hall to beat the incoming crew when I notice we have two new boys with disabilities. One has Down syndrome, and the other is lying in a carriage-type contraption, body all twisted, head craning, arms flailing, being pushed by Ms A.
"Hey, guys, are you two new here? I'm Ms M!"
Ms A. stops pushing so I can attempt to shake hands. She responds for them: "This is A., and this is K; they're both 6th graders." K, with Down, pays no attention--he is on a mission to use the bathroom and won't lose focus. But A.'s face lights up as I approach and shake his hand.
And then the GLORY.
Another student, an able bodied small blond kid I've never seen comes up beside me, fully focused on A., sticks out his hand and smiles, "And I'm T.! Welcome to our school!" and shakes A's hand heartily and sincerely before patting K. on the shoulder. A. squirms with delight.
Middle schoolers can be brutal.
But let's acknowledge how they can shine.