Sunday, June 17, 2012

A Series of Disjointed and Rambling Posts: #3 A Letter from an Angel Potato to His Administration AKA The letter that brought salty liquid to the lower portion of my eyeballs

More random secret trip imagery.
This has nothing to do with any of the random stuff I mentioned in my first post.
Just pulling this one out of the author-away-from-desk-for-two-weeks hat. You can't say I didn't warn you. I even used the word disjointed.

So.

There's this Angel Potato. If you don't know what an Angel Potato is, then you should check out Kristen Pelfrey's blog or this blog from Andrew Smith. This particular Angel Potato, Spencer, wrote to me in April for the first time after he read EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS. I replied and we ended up discussing station wagons, satellites and the B-52s. Since then he has given my book to a lot of fellow students to read, been involved in Ms. Pelfrey's REVOLUTION and has written me many more letters that made my day, including one with a book trailer he made for ANTS which rocks.

Spencer is now a General in the book Revolution. This may or may not involve wearing a cape. (Capes are so boss.) This week, while I was basking in secret sunsets, he wrote:

I have written a letter to my school district to incorperate Everybody Sees the Ants in an anti bullying arwareness thing and I have attached the letter I hope you are ok with this and like it.

Spencer, I don't just like it. I'm not just okay with it. I freaking love it. You are an example of my favorite axiom at work: IF YOU WANT SOMETHING TO CHANGE, THEN CHANGE IT. Thanks for giving me permission to share this letter on my blog. I hear this message from MANY students across the country. While schools try to deal with bullying, they often leave out literature that speaks to students. Thank you for saying this so eloquently in your letter. I am a firm believer that fiction can change lives and attitudes, and in the end, educations...if we allow it to.


Dear Anti-bullying Committee,

             My name is Spencer Crosland; I am a sixteen year old sophomore at Foothill Technology High School. I am a good student; I get good grades, am in the Bioscience program, respectful of my teachers, and very social. Foothill is the perfect place for my high school career, it is friendly and really prepares me and my fellow students for life. Now there is one problem with this school but it is not as severe as other schools. This problem is bullying and I am sure you are aware of that.

            You all have done a great job with teaching most students not to bully each other and to respect not just their teachers but their classmates. My fellow students and I hear of experiences and the outcomes of bullying every year and of course that good old line “Be nice and don’t bully”. For the most part students don’t bully each other unless they get in one gigantic argument; however there are still the cases in which we are still bullied. I say we because when I first started high school I was victim of bullying.

            I was constantly made fun of and looked at like people wanted me dead or to have never existed. After a while I began to think this about myself as well and when that happened things only got worse. When someone finally gives up trying to be happy everyone around them starts to get annoyed with them and even a person’s best friend can turn on them; this makes us feel like there is nothing left and we have to hide it for everyone.

            After a few months of depression and hating myself I actually had hope. I was given a book called Everybody Sees the Ants by A. S. King. This book is about a teenage boy who had just entered high school, just like me, he has been bullied all his life. In the summer before his sophomore year this bully beats him to the point where he hallucinates ants because of the amount of blood he lost; the boy goes to Arizona and meets a girl who helps him understand he is worth something and in the end he gets his confidence back and stands up to his bully. 


          You may think because I am young that my opinion in curriculum for bullying may be pointless but it’s is worth more than any adult or teacher that has never been bullied; my opinion is that this book should be used to teach that bullying has a worse outcome than most people let on and it will help those who are already being bullied know what to do and how to fix everything. I believe every high school student should read this book. It will change their perspective on life and it will be much more effective than saying “Be nice and don’t bully”.  This will stop the repetitive monotone that only goes in one ear and out the other. By the time students are in high school most barely listen to pass class and much less listen about bullying; in fact some kids think they are “cool” for bullying. This book will bring a good, more effective change to a student’s understanding of bullying and it will be more effective in preventing bullying.

            You have done a good job so far with teaching students to prevent bullying but it is time for a change. I am only one of many students that agree with this statement. I hope you take this letter under advisement and decide to incorporate this book into the Anti-bullying curriculum. Thank you for taking to time to read this letter.

Sincerely,

Spencer Crosland
Foothill Technology High School Student


So, let's say you're in the same boat as Spencer. Your school is paying out big money for an anti-bullying program that isn't really working all that well. Let's say you've been reading books that are changing your life. Let's say you could find a teacher or librarian in your school who is willing to help you start your own fiction REVOLUTION.

Here is an idea of how to do it.
(And do get in touch with me if you're looking for a speaker. My HOW TO BE A SUPERHERO presentation could be just what you're looking for.)

Tomorrow's post will probably be about what people put in toilets.
Or maybe some other stuff.
So much to say. So much to say.

Oh. And tomorrow is a CONTEST to win GROOVY one-of-a-kind things. Stay tuned.


5 comments:

Joanne Levy said...

This is so awesome. So awesome, that awesome doesn't quite cover it.

Spencer, I am so amazed and proud that you are so strong and did this. You are definitely wearing a cape, in my mind.

Lauren said...

This is awesome! We need more people like Spencer in the world :)

Sharen Ford said...

And this is how the world gets changed. I hope you're both proud of yourselves, A.S. King and Spencer. I know I am!

Sharen Ford said...

And this is how the world gets changed. I hope you're proud of yourselves, A.S. King and Spencer. I know I am!

A.S. King said...

Yes! Yes! WE NEED MORE SPENCERS.

I will sew the capes.