Kyle is a new teacher at an Ontario junior high school. He instructs Grade 8 students – a “tough” and rowdy class, he says – between the ages of 13 and 14. They don’t get along with all the teachers but they’ve been pretty good with him.
He’s also gay and told his class about it about a month ago, unsure how this group of “tough kids” would react.
As Kyle writes on Reddit, there’s one group of boys in particular who can prove a little challenging and he had no idea how they’d respond.
One of those boys let him know in the most touching way possible.
Harry was always a little quieter than the rest and “tough to get close to”, but very popular all the same.
As part of his end-of-year curriculum, Kyle allows his students to submit a “YouTube of the Day” to play in the morning. He usually screens them to makes sure there’s nothing inappropriate then shows the video to the class.
When it was Harry’s turn, he asked his teacher if he could simply play the video without a preview.
“Given what Harry listens to, I’m wary,” his teacher explains. “He listens to a lot of rap and hip-hop, and that’s fine, but I’ve heard some non-school-appropriate language come out of the music he listens to. So I ask him if it’s appropriate for school; he tells me yes.”
Kyle decided to take a chance and trust his student. What happened next will remain with the younger teacher forever.
The video Harry chose was “Same Love” by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, a song about being gay and the struggles faced by gay people everywhere. It was as strong a message of support from his eighth graders as he could imagine.
“The video finishes, the kids applaud, and I thank him, and he says to me, ‘I told you you’d like it.’
“And then his loud, rude friend Mark says: ‘That was for you, Mr. K.’
“The whole class applauded again – for me this time – and then I cried. I cried the proudest tears I have ever shed.”
Our tears too, Mr. K. Our tears, too.
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