Friday, April 23, 2010

I hope my child will be like Will Phillips

First, some background: Will Phillips refused to stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance in his class after examining the words of the pledge and realizing that not everyone has the same rights to liberty and justice. After four days of refusing to say the pledge, and being repeatedly harassed by his substitute teacher regarding his refusal, Will Phillips... broke. He told his substitute teacher that she could 'go jump off a bridge'. Probably not the best choice, but he continued to stand up for himself and his right to sit during the pledge.

Recently, Will Phillips was honored at the GLAAD media awards, here is his acceptance speech:

now, i don't necessarily want my child to be exactly like him, but that my child will be able to stand up for herself and others, even against authority figures. I also am amazed by the awesomeness that is his parents! They are incredibly supportive of his actions and are letting him have his own voice and opinions at such a young age. Not only did he formulate these opinions on his own, but he is incredibly bright and articulate when talking about them. He has a great mixture of intelectual speech and age-appropriate joking in his acceptance.

Before I get a little off topic, here is the original CNN story about Will Phillips:

I think it should be noted that this is a pretty big difference from my normal opinion about children in political situations. I find that children in political spotlights are often just parroting or mimicking the opinions of their parents. Even worse than that, some adults go so far as to speak for children, like in this video:

Yes, I'll admit that this child was probably heavily influenced by his parents' political opinions, but in no way are they directing him, and the father even admits to having been upset at his son's behavior in school before learning about the reasoning behind his actions.

I should stop here, I'm just glad to see that some children's voices are being heard and that there are still examples of good parenting out there.

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