School is a huge transition for kids. Especially little 5-year-olds starting out, often their first time away from mom and dad, and learning how to be a bit more independent. Now imagine being that 5-year-old. Add in some challenges -- like being an amputee, like overcoming bacterial meningitis -- and think about how it would feel to be unwanted at the school because some parents didn't want that 5-year-old in their child's class.
This is what reportedly happened to Sakura Barden, a sweet pre-kindergartner from Splendora, Texas, who is also a miracle child. Two years ago she contracted bacterial meningitis and barely survived. She lost her arm, some fingers, and toes as a result. And some parents at the school she attends reportedly said she didn't belong in class with their children.
Sakura's mother, Helen Barden, said some of the parents told her that her daughter didn't belong "because she doesn't look the same as the other children, because she has an amputation." Wow. Seriously, parents? Are you saying this child doesn't deserve an education like your child because she's had amputations? Though the superintendent at Splendora I.S.D. said that there were no complaints and Sakura will stay exactly where she is.
Perhaps the complaints didn't make it to the higher-ups, but if what Barden is saying is true, it's really sad that any parent would make Sakura feel unwanted at her school. It's another one of those parents bullying children kind of stories that I really wish would never happen. Sakura overcame meningitis -- she is not contagious. And saying a child who is an amputee isn't allowed to be in a classroom with other children is discrimination. I know if I was her mother, I would be heartbroken to hear anyone say my child didn't belong with the other children in her class. Heartbroken and angry. Very angry.
But it's clear this family is strong -- Sakura especially. Her grandmother said that Sakura is "so energetic and so beautiful and so positive." (She's adorable!) The family is making sure that Sakura continues to feel good about herself and not see herself as anything less than beautiful, inside and out. And not even some parents supposedly having issues with her around their kids is going to stop that.
Thankfully the Bardens also shared that there are many parents and kids who fully welcomed Sakura into their class. She's made some new friends and is thriving at cheerleading. Which makes me so happy to hear! Happy school year, Sakura!
What do you think? Do you think the parents who contested Sakura being in their child's class were right or wrong?
Image via KHOU