Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A Culture of Foolish Fears?

We've all read the forwarded emails about "the good old days" when we hung our feet out the car windows without seat belts, and the kids stayed out playing after dark and the playground equipment was mounted on hard asphalt. Yes, some things have changed for the better. But do you think some of our concerns have gone too far? I am, of course, thinking of the panic at the thought of the President speaking some words of wisdom to American students. A recorded message went out in my district from the board of education to tell all parents that if they did not want their children listening to the President of the United States then they should send a note the next day. SAY WHAT?

I would be incredulous at this no matter who the president was or what party he represented. To tell your children that our president might have a subversive message is the root of what now divides our country. What happened to teaching respect? This country did elect him, just as every other president. George Bush got a lot of disrespect and every time I heard a child echo his or her parents venom at the President I reminded them that he led our country and was to be respected no matter what our opinion was.

I think it is incredibly harmful to teach children the message they received this week. Here's another thing that irked me this week:
The fourth grade teachers in my building chose to do away with desks and have children work at tables. All school supplies were brought in and combined so they could be shared all year long. Pencils would sit in a container on the table. Now to me this is genious. Pencils disappear like socks and dinosaurs and your money. Pencil sharpening is the bane of a teacher's existence. Elementary students rarely have a decent pencil (someone stole it). An electric sharpener is too noisy. An old-fashioned one undependable and doesn't work for all pencils. Those little individual sharpeners ALWAYS end up on the floor with pencil shavings scattered. But an abundance of already sharpened pencils on the table - beautiful. The table idea also takes care of desks crammed with papers and books until they don't close. Those are just two reasons I loved the idea, but as you probably already guessed, one parent complained that her child was not to touch supplies of the other children for fear of getting the swine flu and he should have his own supplies. Fine. That's do-able - but I want to say to that mother - I guess your child will not be touching any gym equipment, go on the swings, touch a used library book or a door handle either!COME ON!

So I'll get off my soap box after I say - if you don't want your child in public, exposed to everything in public (including horrible messages from the President reminding students to do their best and take responsibility for their education) then take your child out of PUBLIC school! HMMPH!


Erin O'Brien said...

Amen, sister!

james2285 said...

Bless you Diane, and all Teachers who patiently educate parents as well as students.

74WIXYgrad said...

Amazing how some think a stay in school message by someone they may disagree with is going to indoctrinate them forever. I think the difference of opinion is part of what has made this country great.

In regards to the neurotic mother, she should take a pill and relax, maybe eat a ham sandwich.

Lena said...

Double AMEN!

Deborah said...

Yea Diane!!