Good guys replace bullies
Good guys have replaced the bullies in Chy Johnson’s life.
Kudos to Rick Reilly, ESPN.com columnist, for his recent column telling the encouraging story about how some high school football players in Queen Creek, AZ, decided to remove the bullies in Chy Johnson’s life and replace them without fisticuffs or other violence. Borrowing the information from Reilly’s column, let me pass along the story.
Chy Johnson is a high school sophomore in Queen Creek, but she has drawn a tough lot in life. Chy has a disease, microcephaly, which causes her to function at about a third-grade level and gives her a short life expectancy. Until this year, she seemed to have a permanent smile on her face and a gleam in her eye. Then, her mother said, she started coming home crying and upset. Her mother found that she was being bullied at school. Bullies were throwing trash at her and pushing her in the halls.
Mom said she tried to talk to teachers and administrators but got nowhere. That comes as no surprise. I’ve read or heard many stories about parents going to teachers and administrators about bullying problems and getting little to no response.
Mom decided to try another avenue. Carson Jones, the quarterback on the school’s playoff-bound football team, had once escorted Chy to the Special Olympics. So, she wrote to him on Facebook, asking him to keep his ear to the ground and perhaps get her some names.
Carson, though, decided to do better than that. Rather than rat out some kids and perhaps cause problems, he decided that if the bullies saw her with him and his teammates they would treat her better. So, he started asking Chy to eat at the lunch table with him and his teammates rather than in the special-ed room in the back of the cafeteria.
Two of Carson’s teammates chipped in with the effort. Starting running back Tucker Workman made sure someone was walking with Chy between classes, and in classes cornerback Colton Moore made sure she sat in the row right behind the team.
It’s working. No bullies are bothering Chy, and now she is her happy self again.
Carson’s mom, who is raising four boys and a daughter by herself, said she didn’t know for three weeks about what was going on. She found out when Carson showed her a news article that had been written about it.
Chy’s mom said she thanks Carson every chance she can. “He’s an amazing young man,” she said.
Carson is a senior and will be gone next year. So, what happens to Chy’s protection? Nothing to worry about. Carson’s younger brother, Curtis, also a member of the football team, is in the sophomore class with Chy and recently at dinner he announced, “Mom, I got this.”
I don’t know what has happened for Carson and his teammates in the Arizona high school football playoffs, but in my view they are winners whether they win or lose.