Rights of Others

Identify students’ rights, such as the right to attend school, the right to a safe learning environment, and the right to receive respect from others.

Share the photograph of The Girl by the Fence, and read the lyrics. You may also want to play the song.

She never had the clothes they had -

their hair was good, and hers was bad.

I never realized how sad 

those school days were for her.


Strange, how I know that we were wrong -

with now, the chance forever gone.

Still, I can't help but dwell upon

the things we could have said ...

good things we should have said ...

'cause she never had the clothes they had -

their hair was good, and hers was bad - 

and I can't imagine just how sad

those school days were for her.


Now, have students write a one-paragraph, intrapersonal diary entry for the day as if they were the girl by the fence, or as if they were a friend of hers.  Then, after hearing some entries aloud, discuss with the class the elements of respect every student should receive from everyone else at all times.

 

Additional thoughts from the author:

 The Girl by the Fence is one of the saddest poems & songs I have ever written. Sometimes, when I first began performing in schools, I would leave her out – just because the lyrics so clearly reminded me of the reality of hurtful name-calling, or the equally hurtful thing of not accepting someone else. But, if I was guilty of “leaving someone out” when I was in school, then I don’t want to do it again! So I always include The Girl by the Fence in my performances … even if the real chance to include her is now forever gone.