Words have power. Some people get it. Some people don’t. Emily La has this Perspective.
“They’re gonna rape you at your new school!” My student laughed after making his joke to his smiling but uncomfortable classmate. She didn’t know how to respond to this anymore than I would at fourteen.
What came next wasn’t easy. I knelt next to my student’s desk, fumbling with my thoughts before I whispered, “That’s not funny. That can be triggering for some people. And honestly, that’s...really triggering for me.”
He reacted with more laughter, sending me further into the trauma I’ve learned can never be buried. I walked out of the classroom as quickly as the tears weighed down my eyelashes.
My colleague watched over the class while I sat on a toilet in the staff bathroom gathering my memories into the “It’s-going-to-be-okay” box with each aching breath.