Local gossips at Mohonasen High School are in shock over thirty-nine-year-old teacher Faith Perry’s clothes. Not because they are risqué, or unfashionable, or in some way obscene. She wears a floral print blouse, black slacks, and black sneakers. Not revolutionary, but certainly not bizarre.
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Except she’s been wearing those exact same clothes every day this year. The decision to imitate the wardrobes of cartoon characters wasn’t an accident, however, and the reason behind it all is heartwarming.
While teaching, it came to Perry’s attention that a number of students were bullying a little girl for wearing the same clothes two days in a row. I’ll talk a lot about how kind and sweet kids are, but this level of cruelty isn’t exactly shocking.
Perry intervened, however, and explained to her class that wearing your clothes two days in a row isn’t exactly a criminal offense. She went one step further, however, and told her class that she could wear the same outfit for two weeks. The class took the bet.
The compassion at play here is doubly apparent if you’ve ever had family in teaching, like I have. When a kid wears the same outfit everyday, it’s not usually an isolated incident. Sure, sometimes it’s just because they wanted to, but other times it’s because they had to. Because there’s something going on at home.
Perry reaching out to stop bullying then seems doubly important. She’s kept her promise so far, and even has fellow teachers and some students doing the same, as a protest to bullying. That doesn’t’ mean she’s unsanitary, however. She does wash it once every one or two days.
“It’s important to be a professional, too, because that’s my job, but it’s more important about how I do my job, not what I am wearing,” Perry says.
Perry has said she plans to continue next year, but with a different outfit. She won’t stop until bullying does, and deserves an applause for that level of commitment.