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Thanks St. Ed teacher for standing up to racism

To the editor:

Recently my family has experienced some racism in town. I shared my story of what happened with my friends, but kept it away from my teachers. Until one of my friends told me, “You should tell Ms. (Nancy) Gabriel about what happened.” Ms. Gabriel is my study hall teacher and Gael Pride teacher so I felt pretty comfortable. So I explained to her what happened. The story is the following:

My mother and I were going to Target to get my prescription. We got out of the car and proceeded to walk to the doors. We noticed some kids blowing up condoms, as if they were balloons. We just glanced for a quick second and continued walking. Until the kids started yelling, “Ewww Asians. You guys are why COVID started. Go back to your country.”

My mother and I did not do anything. However, both of us were very mad at the three children who yelled these racist comments at us.

I stopped there, and I could see the sorrowfulness in Ms. Gabriel’s face. She said that she was sorry for what happened to me. That was all I thought she was going to say.

But I was wrong. I forgot how helpful a teacher she was. And how caring a person she was, that had a lot of sincerity. She called Target and asked to talk to the manager. Something I wished I could do on my own but failed the day before because I was afraid. She talked to the manager and Target agreed to help find the three kids.

When I heard that I shed tears. Ms. Gabriel gave me hug, a very long one. I cried for a bit in her arms and just felt relieved that someone helped me.

This was just my story until now. But there are so many other people who have received help from Ms. Gabriel. A teacher at St. Edmond Catholic High School.

Here is another story.

This isn’t my story but it was really a heartwarming moment.

One of my classmates was just having a rough day due to her family situation. That day Ms. Gabriel talked to one classmate. And obviously, I do not know what exactly they talked about but I could just see Ms. Gabriel’s sincerity in her face. She cares about what students have to say. She cares about each student, which is something that is challenging for a teacher to do.

I would like to thank Ms. Gabriel for all she has done for me and her students. And I feel like more people should know about the marvelous things she does.

Yewon (Lilian) Shin

Fort Dodge

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