17 years later, a teacher's hurtful words still haunt her, but today she has a message to share with us - WTVideo.com
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17 years later, a teacher's hurtful…
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17 years later, a teacher's hurtful words still haunt her, but today she has a message to share with us

January 21, 2022 • By Mark Bennett

Words are important and can hurt almost as much as a knife. Knowing this, we should always think twice before uttering any comments or judgments against someone else. In fact, a physical wound can be healed, but trauma caused at a young age, by some vicious comment, is much more difficult to recover from. Unkind, hurtful words can haunt us, and can prevent us from living a full, happy life. Why should we have to put up with this? If we were all kinder to each other, the problem would have never really become an issue in our lives.

Elyse Myers knows what it's like to get a mean comment thrown at you during your school years. The young woman recounted how a substitute teacher hurt her with a negative comment regarding her appearance. For a little girl who dreamed of being a cheerleader, it was horrible to have to live with the negative judgment of a stranger.

It's no secret that Elyse Myers was a little chubby when she was in school - she admitted this herself when telling her story - but that doesn't mean she couldn't dream and hope to become a cheerleader. She really didn't care about her weight because she felt at peace with herself, but everyone around her always seemed ready to remind her of how much "bigger" she was than other children. At the time, no adult had ever taught her to love her body, yet she had no intention of giving up on her dreams of becoming a cheerleader. Besides, who said that her body was an obstacle to this dream? But one fateful day, a substitute teacher was about to destroy Elyse's dream.

“A male substitute teacher overheard me telling my friends how much I wanted to be a cheerleader someday,” Elyse says, “and evidently he felt the urge to come to me and say, 'I have to save you from yourself. You could perhaps be a flag bearer or be in the marching band or take up wrestling, but I don't see you in a cheerleader outfit '". And with these words, this is how a complete stranger - who should have been a professional teacher - managed to destroy a little girl's dream. Teachers, and more generally adults, should carefully weigh the words they choose to use with students and children. Elyse was only 11 years old when this substitute teacher took the liberty of stepping in in front of her friends to ridicule her body. And it is only now, 17 years later, that the young woman realizes how serious this horrible intervention was and also how those hurtful words negatively affected her life.


You never know how much an adult's words can impact a child, but surely parents and teachers have roles too important to be flippant about what they say and to whom. Physical appearance is a very sensitive subject, and negative comments about how someone looks can easily cause insecurities and instability during the growth of a child - all elements that will contribute to making a child become an adult full of "insecurities".

Elyse nevertheless was a cheerleader in a play at her school and emphasized how incredibly good she felt about herself. We must not allow anyone to judge us and tell us what we can or cannot do!


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