Justice

Note Written by Fourth-Grader Goes Viral for Its Empowering Message

A note passed in a fourth-grade class is going viral on Twitter for its message, which is appropriately fitting for International Women's Day on Wednesday.

education

A Twitter user named Elly, aka @SMLXist, was struck by the note found under a desk in a friend's fourth-grade classroom. Twitter users were similarly struck, as the tweet has over 43,0000 retweets and 143,000 likes.

In a follow-up tweet, Elly linked to a Jan. 27 story from BBC News titled, "Girls lose faith in their own talents by the age of six," which is based on a study by Science journal involving 400 children, with "disheartening" results.

"The study on 400 children, in the journal Science, initially found both 5-year-old boys and girls thought their own gender was 'brilliant.' But then only one year later, gender differences had emerged. The team from Princeton University, New York University and the University of Illinois said it appeared stereotypes were starting to show. Suspected influences include exposure to media, teachers, parents and other children," according to BBC News.

The head teacher at an all-girls school said that she found through her own experience "it is vital to create a school environment where female pupils develop the confidence they need to be effective and resilient," wrote Sarah Raffray for The Telegraph in October 2013.

Elly went on to tweet more details about the note and the club mentioned in it.

Sexism effects girls as young as 6 years old, and can have lasting effects in high school, as the Science study found. Teenage girls frequently find themselves the target of school dress codes that place more emphasis on what they should and should not wear compared to their male counterparts. 

ATTN: reported on Jan. 6 about the racism facing black girls at school that discourages them from seeing themselves as leaders. The National Women's Law Center (NWLC) posted a video highlighting this issue, and created #LetHerLearn.

"Black girls are five times more likely to be suspended from school than white girls," Danielle DeCourcey wrote for ATTN:, " although they don't commit more 'serious offenses,' according to the NWLC's video."

Which is why a "club for female empowerment" created by elementary school students could be key in helping to build confidence so that they can become leaders.

Elly announced via Twitter on Tuesday that "the club has scheduled their first meeting!" adding, "I hope we can make this into a template for other kids to start similar organizations."