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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Repeat (01/24/13)

TITLE: Billy Punched Me
By Ken Ebright


"Okay fifth-graders, here are the scores on yesterday's math assignment. Billy, you received a one hundred percent. Johnny, you received twenty five percent, therefore I would like you to go back and correct the problems you did wrong."

Billy smirked then in a sing along voice said. "Ha, ha, ha Johnny is stupid!

Johnny is stupid! You have to do the assignment over again. You're going to fail."

Johnny vaulted out of his chair and smacked Billy in the arm.

Mr. Redel clenched his teeth. "Johnny, go stand in the corner for five minutes. Both of you are going to stay after school and have a nice little chat with me."

After school, the boys walked up to the desk. Mr. Redel raised his left eyebrow.

"Okay boys, we can't have you fighting in class. Johnny, under no circumstances are you ever to hit anybody. I want you to say you're sorry to Billy right now."

With his eyes filling with tears, Johnny dipped his head down. "I'm sorry."

Mr. Redel peered over his glasses. "Billy, Johnny has learning disabilities. That doesn't make him stupid. As a class, we need to do everything we can to help Johnny. Name calling only makes things worse. Billy, I want you to tell Johnny that you’re sorry."

Billy looked up as he trembled. "I am sorry, Johnny."

Mr. Redel looked into Johnny's eyes. "Johnny, I want you to write, 'I will not hit other students,' one hundred times. Billy, I want you to write, "I will not call people stupid' one hundred times. Do you both understand your assignments?"

The two boys scowled at the teacher. "Yes, Mr. Redel."

"Now, both of you, shake hands."

A week later, Billy caught up with Johnny at the coat rack. "Johnny, do you understand the assignment on fractions?"

Johnny shoved his books into his bag. "I think so, but I'm, not sure."

Billy reached out to help carry his bag. "Do you want to come over to my house and I'll help you?"

Johnny rolled his eyes. "I don't know; you called me stupid last week.”

Billy frowned. "I was wrong; Mr. Redel is right--you’re not stupid. I'm sorry; I really want to help."

Johnny threw his coat on. "Okay, I'll come over. Do you forgive me for hitting you?"

"Yep, no hard feelings." Johnny held up his fist.

Billy responded with a fist bump. "No hard feelings."

A month later, as Johnny was walking out of the classroom, Mr. Redel looked up. "Hey Johnny, you've been doing better in math."

"Yeah, Billy has been helping me."

Mr. Redel smiled. "Wow, something good came from Billy's remark."

"Yep, we're best friends now. We've learned it's better to be nice than to be mean." Johnny gave the teacher a high-five as he left the classroom.

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This article has been read 242 times
Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 02/02/13
This was so sweet...and a lovely tribute to teachers. I really liked it. Thank you. God bless~
Joanne Sher 02/03/13
Liked how the boys' relationships developed. Enjoyed the story.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/04/13
I think you did a nice job of bringing a serious subject to the forefront of people's minds. It's something that pretty much anyone can relate to on onr level or another.
Sheldon Bass 02/04/13
I enjoyed this story. I could envision Mr. Redel raising that eyebrow. Nice. Our kids today really need some good role models that teach caring about others. Peer pressure weighs heavily on the kids, and they need to witness love in action by their role models.
I was not certain that this was quite on topic, sorry, maybe I'm not seeing it. But this is Good job