Westborough – For Stephanie Garrett, a sixth grade ELA teacher at the Mill Pond School in Westborough, teaching remotely due to the COVID-19 has certainly had its challenges. For her young students, (named TEAM HOPE), lessons on writing poetry helped them to process and convey their feelings not only on the pandemic but also on the racial strife that is sweeping across the country.
We will share some of their poems in the Community Advocate over the next few weeks.
By Naomy Duarte Rosa
Two little girls just playing around with each other, as happy as ever. And the time had come to go home. The mother of one of the girls came and saw her daughter playing with another girl.
“Don’t play with her. She’s dangerous,” said the mother, dragging her daughter away.
“Why, mommy? Why is she dangerous? We were just playing,” the daughter explained.
“Because, everyone that looks like her puts everyone in danger.”
Want to know why the mother said this? Because the girl playing with her daughter had a darker skin tone than her. She was scared. But what this mother had not known is that the girl she was talking about had listened to her every word. The dam in her eyes broke and the tears flowed out.
“Hi, can I help you?” asked a girl with a scarf wrapping her head.
“Yeah, can you do me a favor and leave? And take that stupid thing off your head?” the man in front of her said.
“What?” the girl asked.
All she had done was come to the mall to get new shoes for the school year. She didn’t come to be told to take off her hijab. She didn’t come here to cry. She came here to buy.
“You heard me. Leave! We don’t want you here! We know you have an explosive in that bag of yours!” He pointed to the bag next to her.
“I’m sorry, but you’re wrong. I would never have such things in my bag. Goodbye.”
The girl said calmly and started to walk away, tears starting to roll down her cheeks.
A father and his son were in a convenience store.
“Hijo, qué dice esto?”(“Son, what does this say?”), the father pointed to a bottle of medicine.
“Dice ‘medicina para el dolor’, Papa”(it says “medicine for pain, dad”) explained his son.
A man at the other end of the aisle overheard their conversation.
“Shouldn’t you be speaking English? We’re in America so you need to speak the language,” he interfered.
“Well, my dad doesn’t speak it yet. But he’s trying to learn,” explained the son. “I don’t care. This is a place where you have to speak English. Not what you guys are”.
And with that he walked off with a disgusted look on his face.
What came after was a whisper from the son, begging, “Ya no más…”(“no more”).
Someone can only take so much hate before they break.
Now, all these people that were wrongly disrespected peacefully protested against what happened to them. Eyes with hope in them. Hope that they’ll be respected and people will change. Hope in everyone’s eyes that future generations won’t have to bear the same hateful messages. Hope for a better tomorrow.