The Labeled Child

Anyone with a heart or with children must read this, reflect and begin the journey of empathy and respect for ALL kids!

The Labeled Child

I pray for the labeled child:
That child who is GIFTED AND TALENTED.
No longer can she be lazy and idle
Or a day dreamer
So much more is expected
Of those as gifted and talented as she.

I pray for the labeled child:
That child who is LEARNING DISABLED.
No longer will the world expect brilliance.
No longer will someone tell him to reach for the stars
Because that is where greatness is found.

I pray for the labeled child:
That child who is DYSLEXIC.
Reading—oh, the joy of reading!
Will always be hard for her to recite—no sing—
“Mary had a little lamb;”
She won’t be able to read it,
At least not without difficulty.
She will learn that all her friends
Who laugh and cry and wonder about books
Can do so because they are not dyslexic.

I pray for the labeled child:
That child who is A.D.D.
An unorganized bubble of hyperactivity.
No longer will someone teach him to cope in a world
That values compliance.
No longer will someone say, “You can do this:
Oh, it may be hard, but it is within you to do this.”
A dose of medicine now replaces the need for that inner effort
And eliminates possible victory.

I pray for the labeled child:
That child who is EMOTIONALLY HANDICAPPED.
That child who rebels
Because she should rebel.
The child who acts out
Because there is nowhere else
For the hurt and anxiety to go.
The child who is diagnosed “sick,”
When perhaps her actions are the one true sign of sanity
In the demented world in which she is forced to live.

conference meeting

I pray for THE CHILD OF NO LABEL,
In a system which marks so many special.
This child neither shines nor demands.
For this child, life has been neither harsh nor generous.
This is the one who “makes” the teacher’s day
Because there are so many children who need REAL attention.

I pray most of all for some magic day
When the tests, the labels, and the names
Will disappear—will be forgotten.
When each child who enters a classroom
Will be an apprentice of learning.
When each classroom will be a safe place
To discover—on your own—
What will be the struggles of your life,
And the victories.
When the feeble and the bright,
The gregarious and the shy
Will all find their place
In the great adventure of education
When the only label that will be
Attached to anyone is LEARNER.

By Karen Morrow Durica