Sunday, June 23, 2013


Seventh grader, Misty, was an A grade student. She loved school and she loved to learn. Then, quite suddenly, her whole demeanor changed. She became impossible to live with and her schoolwork deteriorated. Her parents couldn’t believe the change in Misty, but could not get her to tell them what was wrong. Years went by and Misty continued to be moody and obnoxious at home. Her parents despaired, wondering what they could do to get their ‘real’ happy daughter back.

After five years, Misty told her mother what had transpired at school one fateful day. As a result of the conversation with her mother, she wrote the following letter to her 7th Grade teacher. [This is a true story. Names are changed]

Dear Miss Jenkins,

I have decided to write this letter so I can move on with my life, regain my confidence and return to my old self that was lost five years ago.  

 In my early years I was a very happy, enthusiastic, optimistic person and was not afraid to voice my opinion. When I was 12 years-old you came into our class to teach us how to give impromptu speeches. A topic was randomly chosen for each of us, and you picked me to be the first one to make a speech. 

I will never forget that day. I walked up to the front of the class and started to voice my opinion on the topic. Then I froze. I couldn’t think of anything else to say, as I was unfamiliar with the subject. I wracked my brain to try and think of something else but nothing came. I will never forget the look on your face. You yelled and pointed at me. After lecturing me at the back of the class where everyone could hear, you ordered me up the front to do it again. I said one sentence and broke down. “Sit down!” you said and then I heard you mutter, “Pathetic!”

You broke an innocent 12 year-old girl that day. 

After that day I shut down. Your words haunted me every day. My impeccable reputation was ruined. After that I never spoke unless I was spoken to. I lost my voice and my quirky personality. I became a social outcast at school and became depressed. I started to become violent at home. I cried every night and I started hating myself.

Five years later I finally told my Mom. All of those bottled-up emotions came tumbling out. It has only been two weeks since I told Mom and already I feel like my old self again. I am just letting you know that the student you scolded and made feel ‘dumb’ those years ago is now in the gifted class working a year above my level.

I forgive you, Miss Jenkins.

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