Goodnight ran for Student Body President this past week. The candidates at her school were only allowed one week to campaign and hang posters. I like the condensed process. It helps the students focus, get down to business, and then get on with the work of school.
She had a variety of cute posters – something to attract the various age levels of the students allowed to vote. She seemed to handle her campaigning in a ‘big sister’ way. I liked her approach, because, she knows it’s her responsibility to set a good example for the younger students.
She typed her speech, practiced it with me, revised it slightly, re-printed it, then got a good night’s sleep.
Unfortunately, she was the target of some bullying/harassment on the bus on her way to school. It upset her enough to want to call me and chat it out. The campaign speeches were to happen in the morning and she needed to collect herself enough to get through it and then take care of the bullying in the afternoon when the principal would be back in the building after meetings away from the campus.
My phone was silent the rest of the day. I tried not to read anything into the silence, but it was easy to let my mind wonder about the possibilities. She didn’t text me because she lost. She didn’t text me because she was too sad. She didn’t text me because she won and didn’t have time to tell her gram. The reality is . . . students are not allowed to have their phones with them in classes and have to leave them in their lockers.
I waited all day!
When GN got home, she opened the door and said, “Can dinner be the president’s choice tonight?”
GN had a very interesting day. There was only one other eight-grader who ran for president against her. The votes came in exactly tied. It was the first tie in the history of the school The person in charge of counting the votes, counted them over and over, each time with the same result. She summoned several people to the office to ask them to count. They got the same results – still tied.
They called the two girls from their home rooms and told them the votes were tied and that they had to come up with a way to have a run-off. But GN suggested that another ‘smart mind’ on the team would benefit the entire school. The other girl didn’t like that idea at first, sharing the presidency, but GN convinced her that there were some big issues to deal with and it would be better to have two presidents when they had to meet with the principal.
GN’s opponent, tied in the election, agreed and ended up embracing the idea. So there are two co-presidents of the student body this year.
I loved how she handled the tied election results!
I also loved how she handled the bullying incident. When the principal got back to the school, she spoke with GN to hear her side of the story. She promised to speak with the other student who was involved. GN asked the principal not to punish him. She asked the principal to just tell him that it had to stop. I’m afraid I’m not terribly tolerant of bullies, but she set an example of kindness first.
When the principal agreed, Goodnight thanked her for speaking to the boy on her behalf and then . . . told her that she and her co-president would be back in the office to speak with her about a few issues affecting the student body.
She got right to work trying to re-establish recess for the middle school. Through last year, all the kids had recess, but the principal retired and a new one came on board, took it away AND gave all the students assigned seats . . . at lunch.
I think newly elected co-presidents have their work cut out for them.
I’m proud of my granddaughter for the way she handled the bus bullying and for her example of cooperation following the elections. Way to go, kiddo!