I Had To Defend Our School Outcast But I HATED Her
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This is Katty, and she’s dying to share a story that at first frightened her, then turned her whole world upside down.
Her parents have always taken pride in the fact that Katty was a straight “A” student from her first year of school, and has been ever since. Teachers always loved her for how hard she worked, and the other students respected her, for the most part…Why for the most part, you ask? Well, because there was this small number of them who were actually intimidated by her odd sense of humor, or maybe it was her sarcastic personality. You see, even though she’s been called an “exemplary student” since forever, she’s always loved fooling around and making sarcastic remarks. Usually, everybody just laughed at them. But there was this girl whose immature reaction to her comments just motivated Katty to tease her even more. It was like it was outside of her control to stop it. Her name was Zoe Collins. She was a tall, round-shouldered redhead with ugly braces. And Katty hated her so much – she couldn’t walk past her without making a mean comment about her. And every time, she would run away crying (jeez)...
Then one day, the principal called her into his office. She was really scared! She knew it had something to do with her behavior, but what was it exactly? She just sat there and didn’t even dare to look Mr. Derrickson in the eye. He slowly walked up to a window and put his hands behind his back. It was silent torture, because she was dying to find out why she was sitting there, but he wouldn’t say a word.
Finally, Mr. Derrickson turned around. He said that Zoe's parents contributed to the school a lot, whether it was a new piano for their music class or chemistry equipment for the lab. But now they wanted to transfer their daughter to another school because of the constant ridicule and taunting that she was experiencing. To be perfectly honest, when she heard that, Katty actually felt happy that she wasn’t going to see Zoe again. But then Mr. Derrickson added that the moment Zoe’s parents moved her to a different school he would suspend Katty. Her heart started racing. She couldn’t believe what Mr. Derrickson had just said. “What? Me? Suspended? This must be a joke!” She had no idea what she would tell her mom and dad. And so she just broke down there and then. Of course, she knew it was all her fault and that she had been warned earlier that there would be consequences…but seriously – suspension!
Then Mr. Derrickson told her that she still had a chance, because he couldn't “let these decent people down just like that.” She wiped away her tears and listened carefully. He said that when he spoke with Zoe’s parents earlier that day, he had asked them to give their school one last chance, and they agreed. They gave him one week to solve things, and if nothing changed – they would transfer Zoe. “So, your task is – to look after Zoe and help her feel comfortable in this school,” said Mr. Derrickson. “No way!” she freaked out. How could she possibly protect somebody that she herself hated more than anyone else?! He said that either she did it, or she’d be out of the school for a long time.
On the way back to the classroom she stopped by the bathroom to get rid of her puffy eyes caused by her crying earlier. She was washing her face and kept thinking, “of all students – why me?” And then she realized why – everybody in the class respected her and no one would confront her. So, she had the power to change the situation that Zoe found herself in.
When she got back to the classroom, the math teacher told the class to divide into groups of four. Mrs. Dillingham usually did that when she wanted to give them extra difficult problems, and wanted them to collaborate to solve them. Each team leader could choose one person per turn. Usually, team leaders chose the smart and popular students at the beginning, and the rest waited. Even smart but unpopular students, like Zoe, waited until somebody finally chose them to simply fill up the group. That must have been frustrating. Katty immediately remembered that Zoe was great at math, and within a second her plan was ready. She was one of the team leaders, and she called Zoe’s name in the first round. Her friends couldn’t believe it. No one could. Zoe just stared, with her eyes full of fear. Katty still found her really annoying, but she did her best to look as welcoming and non-threatening as possible. Graceful as a baby giraffe, Zoe stood up, walked uncertainly across the class and sat next to her. Soon after all the teams were formed, Mrs. Dillingham gave them the problems they had to solve. She told Zoe not to worry...
Music by Epidemic Sound: http://www.epidemicsound.com