Friday, March 5, 2010
This morning on the way to school Jack, who is in first grade, announced that it was "black top day" today. Like a fool, I asked what that meant and he explained that black top day was when the first graders had to play on the playground black top so that the third graders could play on the playground equipment (slides, swings, etc.)

A little confused, I felt relief, at first. I was glad that someone had created a procedure to minimize bullying during recess. Then, upon reflection, I was just confused. Wait a second, I thought. We're talking about first and third graders here. What the....

When did elementary school become so risky and hard to manage that a few playground monitors can't keep up with the bad guys on the playground? What happened to hoping for the best and training them for the worst? (e.g Tell a teacher if someone does something you don't like.)

I don't want my child to be bullied or to bully someone else, but how are they ever going to learn to handle bullying if they don't have exposure to it while the bullying is on a first/third grade level. I don't want Jack's first encounter with a mean kids to be on the bus as the child pummels him to a pulp. I want him to get used to setting boundaries now!

Not only that, but isn't this also the time when children should be required to be together so that they can start taking care of each other? If we segregate them, aren't we giving the third graders more power? Aren't we just telling them, hey, look at how much we fear what you can do?

Come on, people! Let's be reasonable. Isn't there a better way to teach kids about life while also keeping them safe?


Get a free hit counter here.