Comments: American Girl With Pride

What gets me is that this is the second year in a row that the school pulled this stunt - they knew she got booed last year, but went ahead and held the same program and (as far as I can tell) didn't try to enforce any behavior standards among the students. This being Canada, I wonder if some of the teachers weren't rather enjoying the booing as well.

Brava Laura - I'm glad she has guts. And I'm glad to hear she's returning Stateside for school next year. Life is tough enough at that age without having to put up with school-sanctioned bullying as well.

Posted by Anne at March 29, 2004 07:03 PM

Anne, I know it hurts that kids like Laura have to contend with idiots just because she honours and loves her country, but that is the way it is outside of the USA and it's a fight we must press.

Knowing how the schools think up here, they probably encouraged Laura not to participate because they were worried about "her self-esteem."

They really and truly don't understand that taking that easy path would have hurt her far more.

Remember when the President said back in Sept., 2001, that we would inspire others by our courage?

That's one of the ways we'll win this thing, and hot damn! I think Laura has scored one for the USA.

I'm also an incurably sentimental romantic!

Posted by Debbye at March 29, 2004 09:55 PM

I think this is a great story too, because Laura recognized that the outburst of a few doesn't represent the majority. Still, it would have been nice for someone to show a little authority, which doesn't mean taking away a person's right to protest, but it should remove the mask of anonimity that coward gain false courage from.

Hold that flag high my dear; you are a worthy standard bearer.

Posted by John H at March 30, 2004 01:02 AM

Good story. But the issue is really about our attitude toward the United States, not Laura's courage.

Let's say the country had been one we don't admire, like North Korea. What would you have thought of the girl who continued to stand up and be counted when booed. You probably would have considered her a dupe and only secretly admired her courage. Look what happened when Bill Maher said the 911 killers weren't cowards.

Posted by Canadian Headhunter at March 30, 2004 08:19 AM

Michael, you are right to point out that there are definitely aspects to this story that does Canadians proud.

John sees the most important fact: the booers represented the opinions of a few and Laura didn't let the few blind her to the many.

And this article reaffirms the basic decency of most Canadians. Seriously, who cares what the school bureaucracy did or not do compared to how her classmates and Canadians across the country responded?

As for North Korea, again I look at it as an American. NK is a stated enemy of the US and has issued threats against us and armed our enemies, but we're not at open war with them and are nominally engaged with talks with them.

My thoughts on seeing an NK flag would be grim, maybe because I know the outcome if NK initiates an attack upon us.

I have no way of knowing how Canadians would respond to the North Korean flag, though. That's an interesting line of thought.

Posted by Debbye at March 30, 2004 02:16 PM

I doubt one Canadian in a hundred could recognize the flag of North Korea, let alone describe the continuing atrocities of that regime. No, the only "other" that matters to Canadians is the United States. This story says much more about the parochialism and ignorance of Canada than it does about anything else (though I am delighted this young woman had the character to face the ingrates for a second year running).

Posted by Ghost of a flea at March 30, 2004 04:08 PM

Ghost, my point was that if she was standing up for a country we hate we would not admire her no matter how courageous she was. It had to be a commitment to something we consider decent and important. The tendency I think would be to imagine that we are admiring her courage when in fact it is more than that. I remember many years ago having to admit to myself, grudgingly, that Khomeini had guts to stand up to the United States but that didn't stop me from hating him because of what he himself stood for.

Posted by Canadian Headhunter at March 30, 2004 04:20 PM

This was a highly symbollic act of intolerance. Just one more pinpoint of hate on a little American girl. Yet Canada's lackadaisical response to these acts of "excepted/ accepted" intolerance presage the gathering storm which gathers below the border. Are you prepared to get back what you have given? Is that what Canada wants? Is Canada such a bitter eunuch that it will tolerate this in order to get a little attention? Take to the streets, burn American flags and have a proper riot of it - but don't stoop so low as to pour your venom out on a child.

Posted by Pescado at March 30, 2004 11:32 PM

Settle down, Pescado, I know it's a touchy issue but Laura handled it, and the booers were the ones isolated, not her.

The act wasn't accepted by anyone with sense and decency (including the school officials.)

Posted by Debbye at April 1, 2004 12:31 AM

Laura was in my care for 18 months so I speak with some authority on the issue. Politicize Laura's actions, and the reactions of the crowd in anyway you wish, but her intentions were never political. The real beauty of this story is the courage of conviction, the strong sense of self that this child has forged for herself despite the difficulties of her childhood. She has matured into a magnificent young lady, one I am blessed to have known.

Posted by janet at April 11, 2004 01:36 PM

Well said, Janet.

"Try it again, because you will feel better. It makes you feel strong," she said.

That is the key quote and a principle we all try to teach our children. It was Laura's courage and pride that was noted and applauded.

I didn't want to go too overboard in the original post, but you and I know that her character is stronger for this and that she will face her life with courage.

That is the best possible outcome of any ordeal and what we pray for when we see our kids go through pain and make their decisions.

Posted by Debbye at April 11, 2004 05:17 PM

This is the girl that got booed any comments send me an email

Posted by laura elfman at June 10, 2004 05:42 PM

This is completely insane! First off all, I go to Wagar, and believe me that is not the story. Laura Elfman has a bad reputation at our school, she's had sex, a million boyfriends, ruins relationships etc. When she went up onto that stage, yes people were booing. This might sound crazy but, people were booing her. It just so happens that people see the negative side of it. The gazette doesn't know why the school booed, were they there? The girl just wants free stuff and to be out in the public. If you see someone run away from someone and cry you immediately think they were bullied or scammed, but think about it....are you so sure about that? This multicultural day was out a doubt a big blow on her.

Posted by Anonymous at October 7, 2004 06:41 PM