If you’ve read the post below about me playing with my kids’ friends in the school yard when I drop them off in the morning, then here’s the update that I am certain at least one person was some of you were expecting.
The principal called again. The story that she told is as follows: she was in the office this morning and overheard two boys talking about that guy in the yard (meaning me). One of the boys said, “He didn’t touch me.” I suppose he was bragging that I hadn’t tagged him this morning when we all played tag. This caught the principal’s attention, and I can only assume, that she then spoke to those boys long enough to confirm that it was indeed me.
Before I get into the call I want to add that this morning’s tag was pretty good! One little guy came up to me and asked me a question. I thought that I gave a clever answer but he informed me that the correct answer was “TAG! You’re it!”
So the principal called me and basically asked me not to touch the kids at all – not even tag. During the conversation I felt like there was some underlying animosity coming from her and so I asked for confirmation of that. She said not at all, she is just trying to protect me. I replied that I do not require protection, but thank you for the effort, and that I understand that you’re rightly trying to protect the school.
As the conversation moved on she expressed disappointment in the how the rules have changed since she began in teaching and we spoke a little about that.
I would say, in short, that we are in agreement that it is a shame that society has come to a point where people are unable get close to kids without someone crying foul. I use much harsher terms than her of course for I am not bound by my employer to be politically correct.
What sparked me to write about this is a basic idea. I already know that most people will say, “Don’t touch my kids if I don’t know you,” and I can understand that. My friends have said that they know me so it’s ok, but anyone they don’t know who plays like I do would face-off with them. That’s the point right there! I used to be of that mind too. But, why?
Simply because our society programs us through a constant deluge of fear campaigns. Protect your kids and fear strangers! FEAR THEM! FEAR!
Protect your kids, or course. Fear people you have no idea about? Isn’t that judging a book by its cover? Yea, it is. It’s also discrimination. It always sounds reasonable until you’re unjustly on the other side, like I am right now. Lance, you might not be the bad guy but someone might think you are, so I know I am safe but no one else does, and then have been accused of being a danger when I clearly am not. But that’s only clear to me.
How could it be clear to anyone else?
Well, what does one do when they need to know something? How about seek out the information.
[My mind is fragmented right now. My wife is cooking while the kids do a mix of reading, homework, drawing and while talking to me intermittently. It’s hard to get a clear, smooth train of thought going here so I will have to address this later on.]