I miss seeing the youth of this nation push through adversity and succeed in life. I was a high school teacher for 10 years and yes, high school kids can be, well, immature. But then there are times when they shine more bright than most of us adults.
After Westmount Secondary School student Jared McCarthy was harassed at school because he stuck up for gay people, he took up the instigator's challenge wear a rainbow shirt, and used social media to encourage teens across Hamilton to do the same.
Jared's mom, Christina McCarthy, began making Facebook posts on Wednesday looking for a rainbow shirt that would fit her son, and explaining the back story of why he wanted to wear it. She posted a Facebook video on Thursday that shows Jared, wearing a rainbow shirt, talking about what happened and what he's doing. – cbc.ca
The video has amassed over 68,000 views as of Friday afternoon, and his campaign has prompted his school principal, students at his and other high school and others to take up the challenge. Many have responded with their own photos on various social media under the hashtag #notatmyschool. – cbc.ca
I don't know if it's because I'm just too emotional right now, but this story got to me. Teared up a little bit. What is great about this is that it doesn't matter if Jared is LGBTQ+ or not. What matters is that he is a human being showing support for other human beings.
We didn't hear of any anti-rainbow activity at his school, but instead just about Jared's success. Head over to more coverage at cbc.ca and see the support Jared received. And it wasn't just at his school and not just at the high school level.
Would something like this go over well at your school? Your work?
Several rainbow-clad Westmount students said they first heard of Jared's campaign through the social media hashtag, not even realizing at first that it started with a student at their own school.
"This morning when the national anthem was playing, I was smiling," said Nicola Cross, a Westmount student wearing a rainbow shirt, "because I was thinking about all the people who came together in unity and support of the LGBTQ-plus community."
Cassie Chamberlain, another Westmount student, who wore rainbow socks on Thursday, said "it's about solidarity. It shows that everyone at Westmount will stand together and that we're not going to take this kind of treatment."
And for Chamberlain, it's also personal: "I'm involved in positive space here at the school, and I'm out [of the closet]." – cbc.ca