It's me, Curtis, and I wanted to talk with you guys about something that I think needs more limelight: bullying.
First and second grades were the worst years of my academic career. Schoolwork was never an issue for me, it was socialization. I had always gotten on really well with adults, growing up. It was the other children that were hard for me. In first grade, I had found a small group of boys that I was fitting in with reasonably well. I even pretended to really like the Power Rangers to fit in. By the end of the year, and into the next one, something had gone horribly wrong. One of the boys was Guillermo and he was the ring-leader. His older sister was friends with my older sister. There must have been some kind of falling out between the two, for Guillermo to wake up one day and say to himself, "I'm going to make Curtis' life a living nightmare!" To be honest, I'm not one hundred percent sure what did happen, but I do know things became terrible for me. They handcuffed me to a fence, with toy handcuffs, but when I tried to get away, they dragged me back. Jason was still willing to be my friend, but only outside of school, so he wouldn't risk being ostracized with me. I invited them to my seventh birthday, and Guillermo decided his time would be better spent elsewhere, so he left early, leaving me in tears over a birthday ruined.
Bullying is no joke! Those early, formative years set the stage for the rest of my school career. And to think, a child with Diverse Abilities is twice as likely to be bullied in school than a typically-abled child. This is the motivation behind a movement that my wife and I truly believe in, and want to bring to the attention of all of you, out there. #CuttheBull is a campaign, developed by Shriners Children's Hospital, meant to raise awareness of the bullying of DiversAble children, and bullying in general. Check out their website and take the pledge at www.cutthebullnow.org
Don't let bullies get away with this. Join The #DiversAbleModel Project and #CuttheBull!
Support DiversAble people by placing an order on Mandi's CandI website: http://bitly.com/DiversAble