Readers, readers — I can’t stand how stupid our culture is some times! Like…right now! At this school! This story came in as a comment to the previous post. — L.
Dear Free-Range Kids: We just recently had a similar situation at my kids’ elementary school. Last week, a first grader fell and hit his head in the cafeteria. The extent of the injury in not clear, but all reports are that the injury may have included some blood, but no serious injury requiring serious medical intervention. The kid basically fell off his stool backwards and bumped his head.
So this week, a whole new array of rules in the cafeteria have been established, including that kids who need a fork, spoon, straw, etc. are now not permitted to get up and get one, but instead they are to raise their hand and ask the lunchroom monitors to get it for them. Kids are also no longer permitted to use the restroom during lunchtime.
I am sorry that a child bumped his head, but I do not see the sense in preventing kids from taking care of their own needs helps this. There is not always an institutional solution to every little problem. The kid fell not because someone got up and got a straw. The kid fell because he is a little kid who sat a little goofy on his stool and lost his balance.
This is a perfect example of over-correcting for an unfortunate accident and in the meantime, creating worse problems for kids. I think 4th graders should not expect an adult to take care of all their needs. Talk about encouraging helplessness and entitlement! Now the school would prefer my kid miss classtime to use the toilet instead of lunchtime? — A Reader