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Friendship... is not something you learn in school. But if you haven't learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven't learned anything.
We know that to compete for the jobs of the 21st century and thrive in a global economy, we need a growing, skilled and educated workforce, particularly in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math. Americans with bachelor's degrees have half the unemployment rate of those with a high school degree.
In 1985, I was living with my sister in Virginia, and since I was still in high school, I worked at McDonald's to save money to get an abortion. It sounds really terrible, but it was the best decision I ever made. It was the first time I took responsibility for my actions. I messed up, had sex without contraception, and got pregnant at 15.
For too long, our society has shrugged off bullying by labeling it a 'rite of passage' and by asking students to simply 'get over it.' Those attitudes need to change. Every day, students are bullied into silence and are afraid to speak up. Let's break this silence and end school bullying.
I can still remember the afternoon, on my 15th birthday, when I opened up 'The Virgin and the Gypsy,' D.H. Lawrence's novella, in my tiny cell in boarding school, and whole worlds of possibility opened out that I had never guessed existed. The language was on fire and sang of liberation.