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. “On a nice Saturday afternoon, myself and my wife were downstairs when some mother f***ing ignorant son-of-b**** rang our doorbell and put your piece of s*** unwanted solicitation in our door waking the dogs and waking us and the neighbors with an uproar,” Wuthrich said in the email.
“I will do everything in my power to see you never get elected to any office higher than dog catcher,” Wuthrich added in his email to Mano. “I hate you, I hate your family, I hate your solicitors, I hate your contributors, I hate your sponsors, ” Wuthrich continued to say in the email. “Kindly go to hell and die motherf***er.”
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 by the ability of the human animal to be, well, animals. Certainly, if given the proper environment and circumstances and say, maybe the ability to think things through to their logical conclusion, some people would choose not to come off being jerks. I’m thinking this would especially be the case if they knew their boorish 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 embarrassing – and to others, hurtful. Lack of sleep, hunger, anger and frustration, worry, and the undeniable truth that some folks are just social Neanderthals, all contribute to people being jerks 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?
These two situations are unique. They didn’t occur because of people’s spontaneous reaction to something. These people can’t argue they were taken by surprise. No, the actors in both these cases methodically and intentionally set about to diss on other human beings. Sadly, the actors in these cases felt their behavior was justified. And that, to me, is all-telling and what makes these two cases egregious.
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.