By Michael Bohr
There is a very brave young man in NY by the name of Matthew. He is 12 years old and has some serious learning challenges that he was in control of and learning to excel beyond them.That was until the middle of the 5th grade when the Common Core arrived two years ago.
During the last 2 years as the school continued to implement the Common Core, Matt’s IEP was increasingly ignored due to the demands of the NYSED and the Common Core. The longer it went on, the harder things became for this young man, until this year when enough was enough… he just couldn’t take what the Common Core was doing to him. He refused to go to school.
Such was the pressure placed upon Matt that at the age of 12, he knew he had to take a stand, even though doing so was extremely traumatic for himself and his parents. He continues to stand his ground despite even more pressure being placed on him to go back, but as his mom was telling me today, it is taking it toll on him.
Being a dad of two middle schoolers who are facing the onslaught of the Common Core as well as the uncle of two beautiful young ladies who themselves have IEP’s and are finding themselves left further and further behind by a system that ignores their individuality and forces them to contend with more than they can handle, I was inspired to write some words that came rushing into my mind. I posted them to his mom because I wanted her and her son to know that they are not alone… that he is not alone. That people everywhere are fighting for him as he fights for himself. That we are amazed, inspired and in awe of the strength that he has shown by saying, "No more!".
Matt and his mom have asked that I share those words with everyone, everywhere in the hope that his story might help some other family, some other child lost in shuffle know that they are not alone and that all it takes to change the world is one kid taking a stand when the world says don’t. The video below was sent to me by Matthew to share with everyone so that they too might understand his plight and how he feels.
We hear you, Matt! We understand and are all very proud of you! We will do everything we can to help you and every other kid who feels the same way.
So, here are my words to him and his words to all of us.
Don’t worry Matthew, don’t fret a thing We’ve heard your cries and would rather you sing. You made a decision to avoid school and we know why, it’s ’cause you’re no fool!
You’re not alone, there are many like you who can see what’s been done to the place you call school. So your Mom and her friends have all joined as one, to fix up your school so you can have fun.
We know you love learning and want to enjoy, the things that are fun for any young boy! Don’t listen to those that don’t understand because the decision you made just made you a man!
We are all very proud of you, Matthew! Stay strong, young man… we’ve got your back!