The cheerleading squad at Shoreline Junior High took two official team portraits this year. The first photo included Morgyn Arnold, a 14-year-old student with Down syndrome who’d been working as the cheer team manager and knew all the routines by heart. The second photo included all the other girls, but was taken without Arnold, who was noticeably missing from her spot in the front row.
And it was that second picture without her that the school used on social media and in the yearbook. Jordyn Poll, Arnold’s older sister, said Arnold was heartbroken when she flipped through the pages and saw she wasn’t included with the rest of her teammates. Her name wasn’t even mentioned. Poll believes the decision was made because of Arnold’s disability. The Salt Lake Tribune (Courtney Tanner)
Last Saturday, Assistant Attorney General Steven A. Wuthric said he was woken up from a nap by City Council member Darin Mano, who was knocking on doors in a neighborhood as part of his campaign to be elected to the Salt Lake City Council.
Wuthrich then sent an email to Mano filled with expletives and hateful language. Wuthrich issued a statement apologizing on Tuesday for the email sent to Mano… ABC4 News (Craig Proffer)
Analysis: The last week or so has been a difficult time for some people in the state of Utah (USA) to present their best selves. I’ve always been fascinated, if not saddened, by the extent some humans stretch to do horrible things with which they are ashamed of later. And I’ll include myself in that group. Certainly, if given the proper environment and circumstances and say, maybe the ability to think things through to their logical conclusion, most people would likely choose not to do those mean, vengeful, hateful things. I’m thinking this would especially be the case if they knew their behavior was going to be published in the news.
Invariably, people get it wrong in so many instances. Life really does get in the way and perfect storms are created – the results of which can be horribly agonizing – and to others, hurtful. Lack of sleep, hunger, anger and frustration, worry, and stress all contribute to people being ornery to other people. What would cause someone to decide to intentionally leave out a ‘special needs’ girl – a member of the team – in a yearbook team picture? Why would a prominent leader in a community intentionally send an excoriating, vulgar email to another prominent member of the community?
But good can and often does result from these types of situations. People changing – individuals transforming, with a renewal of goodness within themselves – is miraculous. These two situations that happened in Utah should be a wake-up call to all of us. We can all learn something from these reports. A little kindness, a little understanding, a little compassion, a little love goes a long way in our relationships with others. The essence of our existence lies in our relationships with our fellow humans. Let’s not screw it up. But when we do have lapses in judgement, perhaps we can quickly and sincerely apologize and make it right. People lifting people becomes perpetual motion.