Ray’s Ray of Hope – Posse Positive Person – NYPD’s Steven McDonald Inspires Bayonne Second-Graders [VIDEO]
Most folks remember the story of NYPD Officer Steven McDonald.
He’s the police officer who, upon pursuing a couple of bicycle thieves in Central Park back in ’86 was shot in the back and left a quadriplegic.
However, through all his pain and misfortune, he was able to find it in his heart to forgive his assailants; and as such, has visited a second grade class in Bayonne today to spread that message.
He said,"I hope that whatever words I leave can inspire the boys the girls in this classroom to be more peaceful," upon speaking to second-graders at Midtown Community School in Bayonne this morning.
Now quadriplegic and confined to a wheelchair, McDonald, 55, who was shot three times by a teenager on July 12, 1986, relayed his story to the children and left them with a message of forgiveness and peace.
McDonald was working as a police officer in Central Park when three young, armed teenagers stealing bikes changed his life forever.
The teenager, who was 15 when he shot McDonald, was sentenced to 9 months in prison, and was killed in a motorcycle accident three days after his release.
"27 years ago I went to work, not thinking that the worst would happen," he explained to the students.
But McDonald's has channeled his paralysis into a message of nonviolence, understanding and peace. And he told it beautifully to the young students.
"Do you know the story of Cinderella?" he asked. "By the end, Cinderella says three words: 'I forgive you.' And in my story, I forgive too."
Detective McDonald now focuses his career on speaking to students in an attempt to change their attitudes about violence and forgiveness.
Midtown Community School's second-graders were awed by McDonald's message.
Students Alyssa Rozario and Gabrielle Rullveas were all smiles about McDonald's visit. "He was so inspirational," Rozario said. "Hearing his story made me feel good."
A friendship between second grade teacher Veronica Pike and McDonald was what brought him to Midtown Community School originally.
"When he was shot, my son and I wrote him a letter to encourage him. He replied and thanked me, and from then on we kept calling and writing," Pike said.
Mrs. Pike said she has her students write letters to Detective McDonald every year. "Children are the love of his life," she said.
Avery and Kayla Sullivan, twins in the second grade, said that McDonald's story made them feel incredibly proud of their father, who is a Jersey City police officer.
"We all live happy days and sad days," McDonald said to the students. "But you have it in you, like Cinderella and I, to forgive one another."
Forgiving someone who’s done you an incredible amount of harm is truly divine.
That’s the message imparted by Detective Steven McDonald.
For more on Detective McDonald, check out this video:
Today’s “Ray’s Ray of Hope – Posse Positive Person of the Week!”