Dear American Public,
Please do not misunderstand me. I agree that we need to do all that we can to create a safe environment for our kids to grow up in. I’m a teacher, for crying out loud. I know how precious your child is.
However, lately, it seems that some of us have been crossing the line from “Creating a Safe Environment” to “Cuckoo Crazy Land.” Last week, you read about the kindergartner who was asked to turn his shirt inside out because he was wearing a Michigan shirt in an Oklahoma school. This could be taken as the small child flashing his “gang colors.” This week, a deaf preschooler named Hunter is being asked to change his sign name. Why? Because the sign for his name looks like a hand gesture for a gun so it may violate the weapons policy.
This is the point when you should be saying to yourself, “WHAT THE FUCK?“
Believe me, I understand the importance of safety policies. I understand the importance of weapons policies. As a teacher, I love having rules to outlaw anything that may be potentially dangerous to my students. Especially in what seems to be months of senseless public killings, I understand why these policies are needed. My greatest fear is for something like that to happen to my school. But there is a difference between keeping students safe and taking these policies to the extreme. Human judgement needs to enter the equation. Kids understand when another child’s name IS Hunter and when a child is saying he IS a hunter. Although, where I live, many kids actually are hunters so unless they are pretending to be hunters at school, I’m not sure why the school thinks this is a weapons violation.
I know we live in a different society than we did when we were growing up. Things seem scarier. Everything is televised within minutes. All things can be found online. That’s why, in my opinion, we need to be a little more careful when we discipline children and put them in these kinds of categories. Let’s save the name and shirt changes for times and places it really matters.