DECEMBER 23, 2016, LEES SUMMIT, MO – Leanna E – a Colt’s Cheerleader – was presented with a teaching moment in the last few weeks. She made the most of it, setting an example for the rest of us. It came in the middle of a potential racial storm of social media proportions.
You may or may not agree with me; but Leanna E showed great class, and took on the challenge after the 17-year-old Western High School senior posted a picture of him, a buddy and two Colt Cheerleaders. He made a grievous error by posting the picture (and giving him the benefit of the doubt) trying to be funny – he was not.
The picture went viral. His comment used to show the extent of the racial divide in the United States today.
The Colt’s cheerleader could have taken this and made it all about how it was so painful to see such a post. She could have been the victim she had every right to be. Yet, she stood tall, she stood above the fray, and took on the challenge of turning this situation and making it a teaching moment.
The USA Today story quotes Leanna asking Western High Scholl Principal Rick Davis how the student was doing, and she is quoted as saying:
“I just was concerned for how he was handling it, and (Davis) said he wasn’t handling it well,” she said. “That broke my heart to know that.”
The Principal, the true educator he has proven to be, set up a meeting with Leanna and the student. In fact, by proxy, Principal Davis, invited all of us to that meeting. Those of us who knew what happened, and those of us who had no idea. We all had a chance to learn along with a 17-year-old student.
Leanna is further quoted by USA Today as saying:
“I extended my hand to shake, and he was like, ‘Come on, bring it in, bring it in.’ It was a good ice breaker,” she said. “He was pretty uncomfortable, which is understandable, but he got right to his apology. He said that he was a kid who made a mistake. He actually referred to himself as a dumb kid that messed up, and he said he was trying to be funny and wasn’t and that he made a mistake and he was sorry, very sorry for hurting me and others.”
The Colt cheerleader had the moment well in hand, and by the simplicity of her actions, drove home the reality that you can do more by teaching than by shaming.
This young man has learned a strong lesson. Think before you speak, think before you act, and keep in mind that kind words are better for everyone. I believe that an entire school learned from the kind, gentle heart demonstrated during a difficult situation.
It truly is heartwarming to see such an excellent example of taking a teaching moment, recognizing it, and making the most of it. A young man learned a lesson. A school learned a lesson. A city, a state and a country were exposed to a lesson they can learn.
You and I need to understand the power of this lesson, and move it forward, use it, and praise it for what it truly is.
It is the gift that will last a lifetime. A lesson well taught, taught from the heart, and a lesson well learned affect not only the one who learned it; but also, all those he touches and influences through their entire life.
Merry Christmas Leanna E – Colt Cheerleader, and a teacher in the truest meaning of word.
The Lee’s Summit Conservative