Every parent hopes that they have raised their children to do the right things.
The parents of three teen boys can feel confident that they did just that after the way their boys reacted when they saw a girl with down syndrome being bullied at a basketball game.
Scooter Terrien, Chase Vazquez, and Miles Rodriguez have been friends for years and are basically inseparable.
They are all three athletes at Lincoln Middle School. The three friends were playing in a basketball game where a cheerleader named Desiree Andrews was cheering on the team.
They were used to seeing her at the games. Although Desiree doesn’t have the best verbal skills, she loves to dance and cheer. She brings a little bit of extra spunk to every game, and all the students really care about her.
Some kids on the other team weren’t as kind, and they are started to bully and tease Desiree.
When Scooter, Chase, and Miles heard it, they stopped everything and called the bullies out. The boy’s coach last year explained what happened, saying:
“One of the kids stepped up and said, ‘Don’t mess with her. Then all of the guys got together to show her support.”
The boys said they were just doing the right thing and just happened to be the first ones to speak up.
They believe that if they hadn’t, other kids would have because they all care about Desiree. Scooter said:
“It’s not fair when other people get treated wrong because we’re all the same. We’re all created the same. God made us the same way.”
The bullies stopped making fun of Desiree, and the boys ended up receiving the Musial Awards for Sportsmanship based on how kind they were to Desiree.
Everyone agreed that they deserved it.
The boys and Desiree have become very close friends. They have lunch together and even walk to class together at school. She makes them laugh and brings some joy to their lives, and they protect her from anyone who might try to be mean to her. Desiree’s dad talked about their friendship, saying:
“These boys have been a godsend. Those boys, I tried to talk to them in person, but I couldn’t keep the tears back.”
According to the National Down Syndrome Society:
“Down syndrome occurs when an individual has a full or partial extra copy of chromosome 21. This additional genetic material alters the course of development and causes the characteristics associated with Down syndrome. There are three types of Down syndrome: trisomy 21 (nondisjunction) accounts for 95% of cases, translocation accounts for about 4%, and mosaicism accounts for about 1%.
“Down syndrome is the most commonly occurring chromosomal condition. Approximately one in every 700 babies in the United States is born with Down syndrome – about 6,000 each year. Down syndrome occurs in people of all races and economic levels. The incidence of births of children with Down syndrome increases with the age of the mother. But due to higher fertility rates in younger women, 80% of children with Down syndrome are born to women under 35 years of age.
“People with Down syndrome have an increased risk for certain medical conditions such as congenital heart defects, respiratory and hearing problems, Alzheimer’s disease, childhood leukemia and thyroid conditions. Many of these conditions are now treatable, so most people with Down syndrome lead healthy lives.”
Desiree is proof that people with Down syndrome can do anything “normal” people can do.
Now that she has the support of her new friends and the whole school, she will be even more likely to succeed. She and the boys will likely always be friends now.
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