How about a little good news?
In the scrub-brush desert town of Queen Creek, Ariz., high school bullies were throwing trash at sophomore Chy Johnson. Calling her “stupid.” Pushing her in the halls.
Chy’s brain works at only a third-grade level because of a genetic birth defect, but she knew enough to feel hate.
“She’d come home every night at the start of the school year crying and upset,” says her mom, Liz Johnson. “That permanent smile she had, that gleam in her eye, that was all gone.”
Her mom says she tried to talk to teachers and administrators and got nowhere. So she tried a whole new path — the starting quarterback of the undefeated football team. After all, senior Carson Jones had once escorted Chy to the Special Olympics.
“Just keep your ear to the ground,” Liz wrote to Carson on his Facebook page. “Maybe get me some names?”
But Carson Jones did something better than that. Instead of ratting other kids out, he decided to take one in — Chy.
He started asking her to eat at the cool kids’ lunch table with him and his teammates. “I just thought that if they saw her with us every day, maybe they’d start treating her better,” Carson says. “Telling on kids would’ve just caused more problems.”
It got better. Starting running back Tucker Workman made sure somebody was walking between classes with Chy. In classes, cornerback Colton Moore made sure she sat in the row right behind the team.
Just step back a second. In some schools, it’s the football players doing the bullying. At Queen Creek, they’re stopping it. And not with fists — with straight-up love for a kid most teenage football players wouldn’t even notice, much less hang out with.
“I think about how sweet these boys are to her,” says volleyball player Shelly Larson, “and I want to cry. I can’t even talk about it.”