Monday, January 21, 2013

THE KIDS IN THE HALL ARE AT IT AGAIN.


 Teachers Working To Rule May As Well Be Kids

Recently one of Canada’s national papers, the Globe and Mail, reported on (January 21, 2013) how Ontario teachers are being pressured by peers not to volunteer in any extra-curricular activities.  So I thought you might enjoy a little fictional variation of the story with some editorial prerogative thrown in.   Here goes . . . you’ll get the point I’m sure.  But will those for whom it’s intended.

Some Ontario elementary and high school students are breaking ranks and resuming their participation in school sports teams and clubs, but the kids say it’s not easy when other kids start bullying them because of it.

These kids are saying that we want our parents to get good value for their education tax dollars and so they’re participating in these extra-curricular activities again.  However, the majority of the kids are thankful that they don’t have to.

The “no we won’t play” kids are finding ways to send the “we want to play” kids threatening emails, putting evil notes in their lockers in the high schools, and sticking hand-written notes in their lunch bags in the elementary schools.  They’re threatening to shun them, of all things.  And if that’s not enough, they have found ways to encourage other kids to squeal on them if they catch anyone participating in any such events at recess, lunchtime or after school.  Hey, I thought we were trying to learn how to be accepting of others’ opinions and their rights.  I thought we were trying to end bullying, even punish it.  I thought we all agreed that extra-curricular activities are central a young person’s well-rounded education.    

In one school, some kids took the threat so seriously that they cancelled going on an overnight trip and the poor teachers were left to go on it alone with the very unhappy parent volunteers.  How awful.  The “I won’t play kids” are just hell-bent on punishing the teachers as a way of getting at those nasty boards and parents who put them up to such terrible things as clubs and teams and tournaments and boring trips on the kids’ otherwise ‘free time’ to “chat on my iPhone”.

But one kid who is hoping to graduate this year seems to have the most guts.  He’s one of the “you bet, I’ll play” kids and he has this to say, “Look parents and boards – this is my own free time we’re talking about here.  And I’m the boss of me on my own free time.  Mom and Dad, you cannot force me to participate if I didn’t want to because what good will that do? – I would just be a failure and you’d suffer socially.  And the boards can’t make me not participate because they would seem like a loser board if they didn’t have these activities.  So, I want to, and I am.”   Good for you, young man.  If things get worse, we’ll call in the OPP and the premier can call on the Armed Forces to protect you from your bully classmates as well as those mean parents and boards, and if necessary clear the snow in the schoolyard.

Now if only teachers felt that way instead of acting like children, bullying each other because some of them choose to do the right thing and stop punishing the students over something they have no control about.   What is encouraging, though, is that the kids are growing up in spite of the bad example some (not all) teachers are setting.  Sorry teachers, you’re loosing big-time on this one each and every day you act like this.

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