ride on the peace maze
When I rule the world (give me a day or so until slutpublican.us goes live), I will outlaw dumb legistlations, rules and regulations and the school administrators and teachers who enact them in the name of our children.
Officials at Neshaminy School District will install "peace mazes" at its eight elementary schools. Kids on the verge of violence will be asked to wander through the mazes’ seven steps of "conflict resolution" and think about their anger for a spell.
Team captains are banned, as is the game tag. The latter will be replaced with something called "Motion Pictures" in which photographs of different points around the school playground are placed in a basket and kids will be expected to pluck out a photo and scramble off to tag it before returning. Team captains are also banned, as are any sports that don't stress inclusiveness.
"We want to offer lots of options on the playground. We want to say, 'Think about what you might like to do at recess.' "
We are raising a nation of sissies. Our kids will not know how to be competitive. They will not know how to take charge and lead. They will not be able to resolve conflict because the schools have taken aim to see that they never get into any conflicts. These kids will have no coping skills whatsover because they never have to cope with anything.
Unfortunately, too many of these kids go home to parents who think the same way as the school administrators. This all-inclusive, no competition, no winning or losing, no getting angry policy of raising and schooling kids is going to cause great problems for these children in the future.
Now that recess and playtime have been turned into yet another object lesson, the kids in this district lose yet another chance to just be kids. When is free time? When do you get to be aggressive and physically work the kinks out of your day? When do kids get to drop the pretenses of learning, doing, scheduling and obeying by being able to run, scream, shout and play with reckless abandon?
You know what happens when you don't let kids loose, when you take away their right to act their age or be better than someone else at something or be able to win, place or show? Or what happens when kids aren't allowed to feel what it's like to lose or cry or feel bad express their anger?
They don't make for very good adults, that's what.
Neshaminy is trying to tame recess, to make it accessible to nerds, to make it a place where there are no skinned knees or bloody noses or hurt feelings. No one's really better than anyone else at anything. Everyone's "sensitive."
Guess what? I was a nerd. I had plenty of hurt feelings and I was left out and picked last and I sucked at every team sport imaginable.
I learned how to lose properly. I learned how to cope with feeling sad or dejected. I learned how to accept the things I can and cannot do. There were no rules on the playground. We were tagged so hard we fell down, we were kicked in the shins and had rocks thrown at our backs all in full view of teachers. Kids ran here, there and everywhere and used their imaginations to turn the schoolyard into an alligator swamp or a jungle and some poor kid was always the wild animal who got shot by the fierce hunter.
If you are never on the losing end of things, if your life is laid out before you in one peaceful maze after another you will never, ever learn how to handle the grownup life.
[added after another cup of coffee]:
And another thing. If a kid is acting up or hurting another kid or bullying, a walk in a peaceful maze just does not cut it. Oh, you've been a terrible child today, Johnny. Go walk in through that series of winding paths and think about what you've done!
No. You take Johnny off of the playground and sit his ass in the principal's office and you do that every day until Johnny has felt like he received some kind of punishment for his behavior and perhaps he will think twice about doing it again.
And if your kid acts up at home, you don't pull him aside and say "let's talk about your feelings, sweetie. Tell me why you felt the urge to smack your sister in the face the video game controller. Is something wrong?"
No. You tell the kid to apologize to his sister and then you unplug his Playstation for about a week and just to dig it in a little further, you let his sister stay up an extra half an hour past her bedtime.
Someone has to straighten these people out before all of our kids turn into sniveling, whining, spoiled brats.