This is a special day, for my wonderfully creative 8th grader decided to write this week’s Baby Frederico story for you. Claire knows him well and is especially interested in this week’s story topic. She is encouraging those who bully to stop; those who are bullied to tell someone about it; and those who are neither to take a stand and help the one who has been bullied.
Baby Frederico loves his Momma Mia and Papá Frita, his buddy Grenelda the Grasshopper, blue crayons, popcorn…and Incredible Hulk comic books from 1982; but he does not like to see anyone being bullied. For from the time they are very young, all iguanas are taught to practice respect. Baby Frederico, being an iguana, learned this important lesson quite well. Here is his story:
It was around the middle of the year when Baby Frederico`s new teacher came to his school. Mr. McHiss was a very intelligent and kind snake. But everyone in his class overlooked those nice qualities as soon as he said, “Hello classs! My name isss Mr. McHisss!” The class erupted with quiet giggles as he told them how he “decsssided to ssstart teaching and how excsssited he wasss to be teaching them.”
Baby Frederico let out a small giggle when Mr. McHiss said the first few words because he didn`t expect it. But as his classmates` giggles continued right along with their teacher`s speech, he knew it wasn`t right. Turning to his best friend Grenelda the grasshopper he said,” Our class is being very disrespectful. Shouldn`t we do something?” With a nod of her head, Grenelda began hushing her classmates. This worked for a few minutes, but after a while silent laughs became visible on each student`s face once more.
Later at lunch, Grenelda and Baby Frederico decided that they must do something about the giggling. But just as they had begun to talk, the two meanest boys in class came over to the table where the two friends were sitting.
“Hey!” they said, “We`re going to write a note with all the ‘s’ words we can think of and pass it around in class. Mr. McHiss will be so embarrassed!”
Baby Frederico looked up at the boys, “What`s so bad about talking different anyway? I think it`s kind of cool actually.”
Grenelda spoke up too, “Yeah! What`s so bad about it?”
The two boys looked at each other, trying to find an answer. They really didn`t know why talking different would make somebody be labeled as weird.
One boy said, “Well… I mean… I guess…. maybe it`s not so bad. Actually, we might sound kinda funny to him because we don`t hiss!”
“That`s right,” replied Baby Frederico. “But he would never make fun of us for it because he knows it would make us sad. I think that is really what is meant by practicing respect – what we say can make a difference, for good or bad.”
Later, each of Mr. McHiss’ students returned to his classroom and apologized for making fun of him. Mr. McHiss was very proud of them and even told them a story from his own childhood: One day, a cricket named Michael visited his school, which in those days was a school entirely for snakes like Mr. McHiss. Everyone made fun of Michael because he DIDN’T make the “s” sound at all! It was there and then that Mr. McHiss learned a wonderful lesson about practicing respect. He decided to be the one person who would be kind to Michael and not make fun of him for being different.
“After that, I decided that no one was going to bully Michael, or anyone, ever again.”
The students began to applaud as Mr. McHiss finished his story. And it was then and there that a classroom full of students of all shapes and color and sizes and sounds learned to practice respect for each other and for all time.