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The original works of Ms. Katie Vitale

 

STAND

I stand 5’6 in my silver ballet flats, soles thin but soul full of force. 

I stand because my father taught me how, and my mother, in her own way, showed me why. 

I stand for summers of sidewalk chalk and winters of snow angels.  For long, barefoot meanders on the beach and for watching midnight meteor showers around the campfire.

I stand for my sisters; for Kaela and Louie.  For Relando, Lisa, Zoey, and Yakela.  For Saman, Michael, and Micah.  For Izzie.  For T.  I stand for the Justin Howland’s of the world.

I stand on the shoulders of giants; teachers and activists, ever-remembering Mrs. Rouse’s Zero the Hero, the hug from Coretta Scott King, and being cussed out by Maya Angelou for gum-chewing.

I stand tall and try not to slouch, even when I feel I have failed myself and those I care most about, even when the sky casts a dark shadow on my day I make my best effort to pull myself together and move forward.

I stand for an excellent education for all.  For inquiry, discovery, and “writing about it”.  For a holistic approach and an inclusive environment.  For conflict resolution through communication.  For aesthetics and kinesthetics, for a classroom team and family.

I stand for honesty, integrity, and justice.  For love, hope, and inspiration.  For equality and freedom.  For peace.

I stand for those who used to stand, those who cannot stand, and those who do not understand the need to stand. 

I stand for me and for my children and for my children’s children.  But above all else, right here in this and all the moments we share , I stand for YOUR futures, YOUR dreams, YOUR aspirations.  For YOU.  But you’ve GOT to stand too.

 

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