"Mix it up" short story about school diversity programs

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posted on Oct, 16 2012 @ 03:07 PM
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On Tuesday, South High had a national Mix It Up day, where students were encouraged to have lunch with students outside their social setting. It drew controversy immediately from pro-family organizations that claimed it was promoting a "gay agenda". Some students stayed home according to their parent's wishes. The news interviewed a few students about their reactions. Most of the students decried homophobia, but some said it was still unnecessary.

"I have lots of gay friends," a student said to the news camera. "I think our school is very tolerant. I just don't see the point."

The students had a choice to participate or not, but the selection was done by the teachers. The students immediately suspected stereotyping, although the teachers claimed it was random.

Table A:

"Hi Brian, how's the year book project going?" The head cheerleader asked.

"Fine, Stacy, how's the tumbling or whatever?"

"Fine..."

"Cool."

"You know, I have this product, oxy clean, it's really great, really cleans the pores."

"Interesting," Brian pretends to not understand what she's implying.

"It's just, you know, maybe girls would like you more,"

"Well Stacy, if you didn't date a##hole football jocks, they wouldn't post pictures of you nude on the net."

A teacher comes over and inspects, but Stacey, not wanting exposure, says to Brian, "that's not very nice, I was in a bikini, they lied about the nudity part, this mix it up day is supposed to make us understand each other."

"Sorry," Brian says sheepishly, he really means it, because he has a secret crush on Stacy but is too embarrassed to say it.

"So, you're good with computers, right? Maybe you could help me fix my iphone. I'm trying to cheat with it but I can't load the periodic table on there. Can you help me if I come over?"

"Yes, sure absolutely."

"Cool, I'll have my boyfriend Brock drop the phone off at your house, he'll just wait till it's done."

"Oh, great..."

"Wow, mix it up day really was a good idea."

Table B

"Hey Jim" Terry said.

"Hey," Jim said, looking at his girlfriend at another table, talking with a goth girl.

"I think this day is kinda stupid." Terry said.

"Yeah, totally."

"I mean I'm gay, you're straight, big deal, this isn't the 1950's."

"Right, I guess they just want us to make sure we know that." Jim said.

"Yeah...I'm sorry,"

"Why?" Jim asked.

"Well let's face it, this day would not happen if f#gs like me just stayed in the closet," Terry had a tear in his eye. He debated on whether or not he should hide it.

"No, it's not your fault," Jim says, conscious of his friend smirking at him from the other table, oh great, Jim thinks, Joe is going to call me 'gay' now. "Terry, it's not your fault, there are a lot of people who hate gays for no reason. It's sad, really. Maybe this day is good for us. At least we don't have to do any school work."

Terry smiles. "I can agree to that."

Table C, a girl who had an abortion sits with a christian girl.

The Christian girl, Samantha, stares coldly at Janelle.

"Geez, is it something I said?" Janelle asks.

Samantha is looking around for a teacher to complain, they are on the other side of the room. "So I just want you to know that abortion hurts me emotionally very much, and what's worse is now I have to tolerate you for it."

"Well I'm not exactly having fun either. It's not nice to hear you're going to hell every five minutes."

"What? I never said anything to you about hell. Our church isn't like that, you're generalizing."

A teacher looks over their way. Janelle takes a bite of her sandwich as they are both quiet. Samantha notices the sandwich is just two slices of bread and a slice of cheese. "What kind of sandwich is that?"

"I'm sorry, I don't have a mom who writes cutsie notes to me in my lunch." Janelle says.

"So, what, you're mom's dead or something?"

"I wish."

"You shouldn't speak like that about your parents."

"Is that what your church teaches?"

Samantha bites her tongue in rage. "No...they teach...forgiveness."

Janelle wonders then why Samantha doesn't listen to that advice. She is too busy eating her cheese sandwich though to say it. "I was running late, we had no lunchmeat, and my parents couldn't be bothered for lunch money, you happy? Is that an adequate explanation?"

Samantha looks down at her sandwich, roast beef, on organic rye bread. She breaks half of it off and hands it to Janelle.

"I don't want charity," Janelle says, but her stomach rumbles.

"This day so totally sucks," Samantha says, almost in tears.

"Well hey, I'm curious to try your sandwich."

Samantha smiles and gives it to her. Janelle takes a bite. "That's good."

"My mom is a total health nut, it has to be organic, it's totally annoying," Samantha said.

"Better than nothing," Janelle said. "My parents spend their money on cigarettes first, food second."

"Oh my God," Samantha stops eating.

"It's cool, on the plus side I basically have no curfew, can go out to parties, get laid..." Janelle stops.

"Is that how...?"

"Yep, don't ever have sex because you think it will make you feel better, it usually only makes things worse."

"But, I mean, did you ever consider adoption?"

"I couldn't make it that far. I'm in highschool, I can't just walk around the halls nine months pregnant, it would still ruin my life, volleyball, my social life, which admittedly is not the highest on my agenda anymore. But graduation would be delayed a year at least, and I'm practically failing as it is, no way could I ever catch up. Plus, after all that time, I know I wouldn't just be able to give up the baby. Can you imagine being pregnant for NINE months, then giving up your baby? The being that lived inside you? I think aborting within the first weeks saved me from that choice."

Samantha felt saddened by her story, but a little voice preached in her head: murder is murder. "You're right, Janelle, I can't imagine how anyone could do that."

"Sorry for spilling my life's story."

"No, it's fine, it's what today is all about, right?"

"Yeah, listen to the sl#t talk about how how sh#tty her life is." Janelle got up from the table and started crying. She knew her exit would make Samantha think it was her fault, but the truth was her honesty was too much to handle emotionally, she hated 'mix it up' week, she just wanted to crawl in a hole and die.

Samantha sat at the table, stunned, wondering what she had said. A teacher ran by to catch up to Janelle. Samantha said a prayer for Janelle, the only thing she could think to do.

Mix it up day appeared on the local news that night. It was called a raving success. A goth girl and a girl in all pink were shown talking under a tree while having a snack. The reporter praised the diversity program, saying that these types of programs help dispel the hatred of bigoted groups that promote racial and sexual injustices. A clip of a Baptist church burning a Koran flashed on the screen.

"I think I learned a lot," Stacey said with a bright smile. "Mix it up day rocks,"
"It was cool," Jim said, his face turning beat red. "I think I made a friend."

Not mentioned on the nightly news, Terry said, "I think it stereotypes people."

At church, Samantha was asked to speak to her congregation about mix it up day. Many of the church goers promoted it as a way of making the church look more liberal, and not wanting to be associated with bullying or bigotry. Samantha lied and said, "It was really fun."






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