Gastelum Advocates Tolerance

Cathie Gastelum, Photo Editor

It seems as though, few Campo students are actually able to be themselves. High school is a time when everyone puts on a mask and is the person they create for themselves and not the true person they are hiding.

From experience, I know this doesn’t just occur in high school. It happens in junior high, and even goes back to elementary school. We have been hiding ourselves for so long, that only our true friends know who we are.

When I was 8 years old I tried to be that real person; I had two other friends from 3rd to 7th grade, and wasn’t so popular. Metaphorically, I was always the last one picked for dodgeball games. When I left that school, I tried my best to be who everyone else was. I dresses and acted like everyone else.

As time went by, I began to realize that no one knew the real me. It was hidden behind the person everyone thought I was. I didn’t like who I appeared to be, and I decided to make a change. When I started acting like the person I wanted to be, it confused my friends. In truth, it was the whole time I was being different, and now I was being myself.

There are so many people who feel they are forced to hide themselves at school so that they wont get treated differently. They put on a face so that no one can see who they truly are.

I hope that this year Tolerance Week will help people to not only be tolerant of everyone else, but also be accepting of each other. The problem is, judging someone isn’t just based on how they look or act, sometimes people are judged by their skin color, or sexual preferences. There have been several incidents here at Campo when a student has been criticized for being openly gay, and last year a black student’s locker was vandalized.

We always think “This doesn’t happen here.” But the truth is that it does. Racism and sexual discrimination happens everywhere. It may be clichè but it is true. We are the only ones able to fix this problem.

As Horton said, “Even though you can’t see or hear them at all, a person’s a person, no matter how small.” Who is to say someone who is black or gay isn’t a person?

Right now is the time for us to encourage our peers to be themselves. When we make a comment against someone of a certain skin tone, or someone who is a homosexual, we are not only telling them we think them less than a person; we are making ourselves less than a person.

Make the right choice. Don’t judge a book by its cover.