WINNIPEG – A nine-year-old Winnipeg girl whose parents named her after an Egyptian goddess says she’s feeling a lot better after a Canadian Forces soldier apologized for getting upset at her during a Grey Cup event for children.
Isis Fernandes was on a school trip Thursday and was supposed to get a certificate for completing an obstacle course, but when she told the soldier filling out the certificates her name, he didn’t believe her.
“He said, ‘I’m not writing your name. I don’t think this is your real name. This is not funny.’ ” recalled the little girl. “He got all mad and stuff.”
Major Cindy Pettitt with 17 Wing didn’t witness the exchange but said the member approached her following the incident.
Pettitt said it was loud in the sports complex, and the member asked for clarification on the name several times, but did not intend to bully the student.
“I think it was a misunderstanding at the time,” said Pettitt. “He is sorry and is willing to meet with the child and her mother to express his apologies.”
That apology took place on Friday, and Isis and her family say they are satisfied.
The little girl’s mother, Amanda Fernandes, said her own grandfather was in the Armed Forces so “it showed respect and I appreciate it.” She said Isis has been teased about her name before, but she has always told her daughter it is a name that represents beauty, not a terrorist group.
She said the military plans to send Isis a gift at a later date but more importantly they feel the incident is an opportunity to educate people and raise awareness.
“I just want to make sure others don’t get treated like I got treated,” said Isis. “So if you’re being a bully, stop being a bully.”