Jeanean Thomas learned a lesson about prejudice when she took her daughter to the local skatepark. She shared the experience on social media, and the story has now gone viral.
Thomas and her daughter visited a skatepark in Cambridge, Ontario, in the United States, where they encountered only teenage boys.
"Dear teenage boy at the skatepark: You're probably 15 years old, so I don't expect you to be particularly mature or to want a little girl on your skate ramp. What you don't know is that my daughter has wanted to skateboard for months. I actually had to convince her that it's not just for boys. So when we went to the skatepark and saw it was full of teenage boys who were smoking and swearing, she wanted to turn around and go home right away," she wrote.
Thomas was ready to defend her child.
"I secretly also wanted to leave because I didn't want to put on my 'mom voice' and exchange words with you. But I also didn't want my daughter to feel like she had to be afraid of anyone or that she didn't have as much right to be at the skatepark as you. So when she said, 'Mom, there are older boys here,' I calmly said, 'So what? They don't own the skatepark.'"
Her daughter mustered the courage to go down the ramp despite the boys whizzing past her.
"She only made two or three rounds before you approached her and said, 'Excuse me...' I was immediately ready to give my 'She has as much right to be here as you' speech when I heard you say, 'Your feet are wrong. Can I help you?' That message took Jeanean Thomas by surprise.
"You continued and spent almost an hour with my daughter, showing her how to balance and steer, and she listened to you—a task many adults fail to accomplish! You held her hand and helped her get up when she fell, and I even heard you say that she should stay away from the rails so she wouldn't get hurt."
Thomas ends her message by praising the boy.
"You should know that I am proud that you are part of my community, and I want to thank you for being so kind to my daughter, even though your friends teased you. She went home with a sense of pride and the belief that she can do anything, thanks to you," concludes Jeanean Thomas.