By Marian Wright Edelman
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Additional resources for Standing for Children
Maybe even bigger guys. I started swinging. And thought. I swung higher and higher. I liked being an elephant. But I didn’t like getting teased. It was okay for Emma. Nobody was 47 going to make fun of her. The bell rang. I watched the classes start forming their lines. I could see the big boys getting ready to go into their classroom. They were laughing their mean laughs again. I had to get out of dancing. Somehow. I made a decision. My conscience was going to give me trouble on this one. That’s the naggy little person who lives in your brain and makes you feel guilty about stuff.
45 In that special mean way only big boys know how to do. “No, wait! ” said the biggest big boy. “Twinkle-toes over there? No way! ” said the other one. Gus jumped off the monkey bars. ” he yelled back. “He has short hair and his name is Roscoe. ” The boys just laughed and walked off. It was nice to have Gus defend me. But suddenly I felt exactly like I had those first few minutes at Miss Trixie’s. When I’d realized I was a guy surrounded by a gigantic roomful of tapping people who were definitely not guys.
Yeah,” I said quietly. ” “You can head into class. ” I asked. He pointed to my right leg. I was holding it off the ground so it would look smushed. “It’s your LEFT leg, buddy. ” 58 12 Crutching I crutched into class. Everybody stared at me as I made my way to my desk. I showed all the kids how to use my crutches. I told them about my busted body. And how I’d have to miss the talent show. I didn’t look at Emma when I said that part. 59 While I let some of the other kids try my crutches, Emma came over.