THE CATHOLIC GEM “GOING THE EXTRA MILE” AWARD FOR FAIRNESS IN MARCH 2017

“That’s not fair!” Is this a statement that is often heard in your home? From time to time, we certainly hear it during recess on the playground. But what does it mean to be fair? This month, “fairness” was the Christian GEM quality that was contemplated and frequently discussed. At our assembly last Monday morning, I attempted to help our students go beyond understanding the traditional meaning of this word. Certainly, fairness means making decisions that are free from any favoritism. They want teachers and little league umpires to be fair. They want their parents and grandparents to be fair (especially when it comes to gift-giving or enacting consequences for misbehavior.) And that’s completely understandable, but even if that happens, it doesn’t mean it’s always a good thing. There are definitely times when it’s actually NOT fair if everyone gets the same thing!

The point I wanted to make with our students is that sometimes being fair isn’t about everyone getting the same thing. Sometimes it’s about everyone getting what they need. One example I used with them was simple. Let’s pretend we have three students in the health room. One student has a broken leg, another has a bloody nose, and the third student has a small scrape on the knee. Is it “fair” if Mrs. Juska would just give everyone a small Band-Aid? They would all be getting the same thing, but would each of them be getting what they really needed to help them with their injuries? How is that fair?

Overall, fairness is about making sure everyone is treated with the kindness and respect they deserve. The students we recognized clearly understand that being fair means: sharing and taking turns, playing by the rules, caring and including others, keeping an open mind about different opinions, and making decisions in a unbiased way. We are very grateful for their wisdom!

  • TYKE – Elle Medlin
  • Kgn. Bonny – Vera Kasper
  • Kgn. Tucker – Keira Chan
  • Grade 1A – Claire Secousse
  • Grade 1B – Gianna Campos
  • Grade 2A – Jeremy Hunter
  • Grade 2B – Camila Lujan
  • Grade 3A – Cale Burke
  • Grade 3B – Kevin McGowan
  • Grade 4A – Ava Boyd
  • Grade 4B – Halle Hombrecher
  • Grade 5A – Andrew Tran
  • Grade 5B – Tara Spas
  • Grade 6A – Nathan Brooker
  • Grade 6B – Jason Curti
  • Grade 7A – Natakit Chaijroenmaitre
  • Grade 7B – Riley Widder
  • Grade 8A – Rylie Negro
  • Grade 8B – Samantha Parcell

Joining us for the GEM assembly was Savannah Gutierrez, SSJ Class of 2014. Savannah is the daughter of Nicole Hunt (our Stay Care Director), and presently a junior at Edison High School. She is also an exceptional athlete, and the only girl on the school’s varsity hockey team, having earned the position of goalie! In her spare time, she also plays for the Anaheim Lady Ducks, often at the Honda Center in all-star games. Savannah shared with our students how her experience has been rewarding, but also challenging at times when other players, their parents, or fans make rude comments about her gender and the importance of the goalie position on a team. She told the students that whether it’s done consciously or unconsciously, we sometimes make snap judgments about people that are often inaccurate and unfair. Just because someone is a certain gender, race, ethnicity, religion, etc. does not mean that they are any different on the inside; we are all human. The idea that we are all equal in the eyes of the Lord is something that Savannah learned here at SSJ, and that has definitely remained with her throughout the years. Her parting message to the students was that it is fair and just to treat everyone with the same respect and compassion in this world. We are very proud of Savannah for her many accomplishments, and for the excellent role model that she has become.

God doesn’t care who you are, how you look, or where you’re from; He treats us all the same. If our students leave SSJ with the personal goal to be an imitator of God in life, and to judge and treat others fairly, what more could we possibly ask for?