Abandon cynicism all ye who enter here
February 5, 2009 8:28 AM   Subscribe

2 very moving stories about high school kids with heart.
posted by theora55 (11 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Hot as a pistol!

seriously, though, my wife and all her friends are teary-eyed over the basketball one today. and though I am not teary-eyed, I can't disagree with the amount of awesome.
posted by davejay at 9:03 AM on February 5, 2009

My first thought was 'Actually, I think they have Down's Syndrome."

posted by six-or-six-thirty at 9:20 AM on February 5, 2009 [1 favorite]

Aw. Aw. Awwww.

The second one made me all teary.
posted by Phire at 9:25 AM on February 5, 2009

There's a young man with Down syndrome who bags groceries at my local store. I always try to engage him when I'm at his checkstand, but I've never been successful. He's just not very conversational.

But last night as I was walking out of the store, he was walking in. I'd had a pretty rotten day and was just ready to get home after running a bunch of errands, so mostly I was focused on finding my car. But as I walked out the doors, I ran almost smack into him. He took a step back, paused for a minute, all with his characteristically straight face. (Uh-oh, I thought.) He then put his hands behind his head, fingers laced together, and grinned. He flapped his elbows in a sort of quirky dance move and started singing Tom Jones' She's a Lady: "She's a lady / whoa whoa whoa / she's a lady!"

He smiled at me and went into the store and suddenly the day wasn't so shitty anymore.
posted by mudpuppie at 9:27 AM on February 5, 2009 [7 favorites]

I knew a guy with Down's syndrome in high school. He was quite happy, of course, but I remember just how badly he had his own special wish--- getting laid. Wherever you are, Brendan, I hope you're getting some, and that one day some alt-weekly will write about it.
posted by StrikeTheViol at 9:45 AM on February 5, 2009

Thanks for posting these, theora55. Heartwarming, indeed.
posted by chudmonkey at 10:16 AM on February 5, 2009

My first thought was 'Actually, I think they have Down's Syndrome."<>

Down Syndrome or trisomy 21, take your pick.

posted by Mental Wimp at 10:19 AM on February 5, 2009

TL;DR version: Two kids with Down's syndrome play in a high school basketball game and get elected Homecoming queen, respectively. Everyone pats themselves on the back over what good people they are for letting the disabled kids win one. Your grandmother will forward you one or both of these stories a month from now, likely with added references to Jebus.
posted by DecemberBoy at 7:07 PM on February 5, 2009

Jesus let the disabled kids win the Homecoming crown! And interested Decemberboy's grandma. Totally miraculous!
posted by telstar at 2:15 AM on February 6, 2009

The homecoming queen story is very touching, precisely because it doesn't seem to be the usual "normal kids are nice to the disabled kid" situation. From the comments of Anne's classmates, the power of inclusion--"normal" children and children with special needs being placed in the same classroom--becomes clear. It seems to me that these students really *do* see Anne as a person, that she didn't win a pity vote. She won because of the person she is, and that is worth celebrating.
posted by epj at 6:53 PM on February 6, 2009

Minor correction - in the United States it's "Down syndrome" (ref: National Down Syndrome Congress Language Guidelines).

For a slight break from the typical heartwarming story, there's this story about Megan Bomgaars who is a cheerleader on a competitive high school team. It's different in that, yes, she tried out for the squad and the team and coach did some legwork to try to understand what it would mean to have a team mate with Down syndrome. That they accepted her and remain supportive and competitive is huge.

It's a very stark contrast to Jason McElwain, who is a boy with autism who was allowed to play in the last game, but otherwise wasn't a player on the team.

Megan Bomgaars plays on an inclusive team. A truly inclusive society wouldn't think any of these stories out of the ordinary.
posted by plinth at 7:55 PM on February 6, 2009

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