October 23, 2017

National Bullying Prevention Month

The First Lady and the Secretary of Education are off to Michigan, we're told, as part of National Bullying Prevention Month.

They are kicking off a "Week of Inclusion" at West Bloomfield's Orchard Lake Middle School, with plans to participate with students on topics including respect, kindness and inclusion. They'll also visit students in the cafeteria to promote making sure no one eats alone and that new students are made welcome.

A statement attributed to Mrs. Trump said (with emphasis added)
As part of my ongoing commitment to the overall well-being of children, I am looking forward to today's visit. By our own example, we must teach children to be good stewards of the world they will inherit. We need to remember that they are always watching and listening. It is our responsibility to take the lead in teaching children the values of empathy and communication that are at the core of kindness, mindfulness, integrity, and leadership.
Meanwhile, her husband, well, you know. Her husband...

Additional statements made by the First Lady included these, reported by CNN:
I always believe that you need to treat each other with respect and kindness and compassion, but also stay true to yourself. Just listen to your heart, but be yourself. 
I can't help thinking that the "also stay true to yourself" is acknowledging, in some way, her husband's atrocious behavior? Because clearly, he doesn't always remember the respect and kindness and compassion part - at all.

When she met  and talked with 7th and 8th graders in the cafeteria on how they can make new friends, she encouraged them
Ask them what they like, what their hobbies are, so nobody becomes sad or stressed and everyone feels included. I think it's important we choose kindness and compassion.
Perhaps her husband could take the time to learn something about, oh, I don't know, Senator Patty Murray? I hear one of her hobbies is bipartisanship?

I don't envy First Ladies or other political spouses; no matter what they do, someone will doubt their honesty, sincerity, or both. They will always be compared to their predecessors, and it will likely be unfavorable.

But Melania Trump has the added cross to bear of being married to Donald - a man who relishes in doing the exact opposite of what her message is all about. I have no idea how he explains his behavior to her, or to his son Barron, or even to his baby girl Ivanka. I don't know that it matters to his older sons, but I think it does matter to Ivanka, maybe not.

The First Lady's anti-bullying campaign is at least as worthy as the campaigns of other first ladies, and at least as necessary. I hope her message reaches the kids, and I hope that one day, if one of the children she's talking to asks about the behavior of the president, she'll ask the child to want to be better than Donald Trump, and to actually be better than him.

That would be a huge success.

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