Girl Meets Civil Rights
“Today’s lesson is going to talk about causes to fight for,” Mr. Mathews said that week, “we are so lucky that in today’s society people have the right to fight and protest for what they believe is best for the country. Can anyone name me some civil rights movements?”
“Black lives matter!” Zay called out and he and Lucas fist pumped.
“Feminism!” Riley called, Maya and her high fived.
“I, to, shall participate in this highest of fives ritual.” Smackle began, standing up. “I admire the work of Eleanore Roosevelt and-” Maya high fived her in the nose.
“All lives matter!” Everyone looked at Farkle. “What? All lives do.”
“Yes but-” Zay started.
“Maya do you have any to contribute? Because I can think of one more.” Mr. Matthews looked over at her knowingly.
“Feminism, I already said feminism, feminism is my movement, remember STEM and stuff and farkle being a sexist to Riley and-”
“Feminism is Riley’s movement. You participated in it but you aren’t as passionate about it,” Mr. Matthews directed at her, “which is why this week I want you all to write a report and present it, about a movement you’re passionate about.”
“Get out of here ya filthy animals!” He yelled as the bell rang and they all shuffled out.
“Mr. Matthews?” He turned around to see his favorite blonde student.
“I don’t have a movement I’m passionate about,” maya muttered.
“Everyone does, you’ll find it, just do a little research, and I’m sure your best friend here,” he gestured at Riley who was waiting by the door, “will be more than happy to help.”—-
“Rileyyyyyy! I don’t have a movement I’m passionate about,” Maya whined hanging over her best friend as they sat in the bay window.
“What about poverty?” Riley suggested shrugging, Maya gripped the front of her dress.
“You calling me poor sunshine?” The blonde demanded, Riley smiled big, and then hugged her.
“Yeah!” She called out and Maya groaned from beneath the hug.
“I’m not doing my report on poverty!” She said untangling herself from her… friend.
“Well how about arts education in schools?” Riley asked and Maya watched her get visibly excited.
“Okay, I guess,” the blonde shrugged. “I did do that whole presentation about it.”
“Yay!” Riley yelled pulling her into another hug.
“Hey guys, what are you talking about?” Topanga asked walking in.
“Our reports in history class,” Riley happily responded, scooting over to make room for her mom.
“Ooh! What are they about?” She asked rubbing her hands together.
“Movements we’re passionate about,” Maya told her and Topanga nodded.
“So Riley you’re doing yours on feminism,” her daughter nodded, “and Maya yours is on ga-”
“Arts education in schools,” the blonde cut in and Topanga looked utterly confused.
“Are you passionate about that?” She asked, her head tilting.
“Very, I did an entire presentation about it in front of the school board, remember?” Maya reminded her.
“Yeah like a year ago and-”
“Riley had hers like a year ago, why can’t I have mine a year ago? Why can’t I just be like everyone else?!” They both looked at her. “I’m gonna go work on it,” She bolted out the bay window.
“Am I missing something or…” Riley trailed off.
“Forget about it, she’ll figure it out.” Topanga responded.—-
“Welcome back ya filthy animals!” Mr. Matthews said to his class. Everyone groaned. “Alright alright, Lucas you’re presenting.”
“My movement is the anti bullying movement.” He said standing up and walking up to the front. “When I lived in Texas I bullied people because I thought I was protecting my friend, but as I look back I realize there’s no excuse for punching someone,” He paused, “And as I’ve gone through middle school and high school I’ve come to realize that more and more. I have friends who’ve been bullied,” he gestured to Riley and Farkle, “and my first inclination was always to get violent. Earlier this year I thought we were being bullied by some seniors, I wanted to hit them. My friends wanted to listen to them. In the end my friends were right.” He nodded at Maya and Riley now. “Every year over 3.2 million students are bullied, and that’s not right. No one should go to school and feel unsafe.” He stood up straighter now. “I’m going to do my part to stop bullying at this school, so the next time I see it I’ll intervene, peacefully, and if that doesn’t work, I’ll tell a teacher,” he nodded at Mr. Matthews, “and I hope we all will do the same.” Everyone clapped, especially Riley who wiped a tear from her eye.
“Oh bravo!” She yelled, “bravo!” Farkle and Smackle grimaced.
“Gross,” the muttered together.
“Okay!” Mr. Matthews called, “tomorrow we have Farkle and Zay, than Smackle and Riley, than last we’ll have Maya,” he looked up, “that okay?” They all nodded and the bell rang.
“Wait?” A kid in the back asked, “what about the rest of us?”
“Class is over get out of here!” He yelled. “Man what type of nerd stays and talks to a teacher?”—-
“So have you guys picked a movement yet?” Lucas asked the group at Topanga’s and nearly everyone nodded, Maya just looked nervous.
“I’m doing feminism!” Riley said sipping her pumpkin spice latte, she handed it to Maya who took a sip too, than smirked at Lucas.
“I’m doing research on an organization called Autism Speaks,” Smackle responded.
“That’s really cool Smackle.” Lucas smiled.
“OH MY GOD STOP HITTING ON ME! Farkle is right here!” She gestured at her boyfriend, whom she was currently sitting on the lap of.
“I’m doing the all lives matter movement,” Farkle said pushing his hair to the back like Justin Bieber. He didn’t notice everyone glaring.
“I’m doing Black Lives Matter,” Zay said through his teeth.
“Boy tomorrow will be so fun!” Maya smiled. “Well lookie here it’s tomorrow already!” She called from her seat in history class.
“Farkle you’re up.” Mr. Matthews called.
“My movement is all lives matter. This is important to me because all lives do matter. African Americans complain that they’re being shot by police officers, but the truth is what’s killing Americans today are not police officers, but heart disease. Which afflicts everyone, not just people of one color, which is why we need to stop looking at it through a black and white lense. THANK YOU I AM FARKLE!” He sat down and no one clapped.
“Sir?” Zay called.
“Please save us, I can see our ratings dropping already.” Mr. Matthews muttered.
“My movement is black lives matter. Because I believe that all lives matter, but all lives are not being targeted by the police, and systematically being shot for existing. All lives are not put in prison for either doing nothing, or just on small drug charges, all lives are not denied jobs, or in one case, that happened her in New York, denied the right to breathe. No, only one type of life is treated that way. We were brought here against our will, forced to do hard labour, and when we were finally freed we still were treated like dirt. All lives matter, but every time I go outside wearing a hoodie, every time I pass by a cop, I fear for my life. And when I’m in a store, or an airport, they all watch me like hawks, and that’s not because I have great style. It’s because I’m black, and racism is alive in America today, and that is what I fight against! And that is what I am passionate about!” He ended in a yell, everyone clapped loudly before people began cheering.
“I was wrong Zay.” Farkle said at last, “it pains me to say this, but you are smarter than me. I was really wrong.” And Zay smiles and nods.
“Bro hug man.” And they went in for the hug.—-
“Hey Maya!” Riley called the next day after she presented, “what’d ya think of my report? Feministastic? Girliful? Civilrightsy?”
“None of those were words honey,” Maya said and Riley shrugged. “Cmon it’s time for art,” she grabbed her friends hand and took off in a run.
“You’re nervous for your presentation, aren’t you?” Riley yelled knowingly as the blonde pulled her along.
“Okay Maya you’re up.” Mr. Matthews said.
“My movement is Arts education in schools.” She looked at her paper, “arts education is really important because-”
“Maya?” Mr. Matthews asked, “are you passionate about this?”
“Very,” she responded sharply, “arts education is very important because,” she looked up at her classmates who looked at her expectantly. “Because, um, because-”
“Maya,” Mr. Matthews said, “it’s time.”
“I’m not ready,” she muttered, a tear began to fall down her face.
“Yes you are, I know you are.” He said, Maya swallowed than walked over to Riley’s desk and took her hand.
“My movement is not arts education in schools,” she said directly to her, then looked down, “it’s the lgbt rights movement.” There were audible gasps but Riley just kept studying maya. “I’m gay.” She finally whispered.
AN: this is my new AU I’ll be posting stuff within this AU later but for now, well yeah. If I got anything wrong please tell me so I can fix it. If you object to Autism speaks know that they changed their mission two days ago so they aren’t trying to find a cure anymore. Um please hit me up with any constructive criticism and thanks for reading!