In the latest example of PC run amok, I submit the State of Tennessee. Apparently there will be no more honor rolls or posting of meritorious school work in Tennessee because it may embarrass those who didn’t make the grade. There are so many things wrong with this policy, it’s hard to know where to start.
One particular sophistry is the notion that kids pick on students who don’t make the honor roll. Maybe Tennessee is a whole different world, but when I was in school, it was hardly the honor roll kids who were picking on the kids who didn’t make it. Hell, there were enough reasons to beat us up on the bus as it was. The last thing we ever did was rub our grades in the face of anyone. More often than not, we hid our grades and tried to appear “normal” and hoped no one picked on us!!.
But the truly misguided logic here is the underlying social policy. Is it really government’s intention to ban anything which could show one child’s success over another? In any discipline? Will we stop publishing sports statistics for the football team? Will we stop keeping school records for track and field? Will we ban musical solos and debates? Will it no longer be acceptable to be called to the board to solve a math problem? This is lunacy!!
What if we carried this into our adult lives… nobody should drive a better car than me or have a bigger house. Nobody should get a patent award or an advanced degree. All these things might make me feel bad or inadequate.
Hey, welcome to life. Adolescence is hard. Kids can be merciless. It’s a shame that everyone can’t succeed at everything, but that’s a cold hard reality that people need to learn. Leverage your talents and accept your limitations. That is not to say that everyone can’t or shouldn’t dream, but they should dream somewhat realistically. And no matter who you are or what you do, somewhere, sometime, someone has, is, or will do it better. Get over it.
I watched the opening night of American Idol last week. I had heard about the bad performances, and had heard about the evil Simon. But honestly, after watching it, I think Simon is right. Some of these people do need a cold hard look at reality. Most of them will never be pop stars. However, some of those wash outs might make wonderful doctors, engineers, teachers, etc. They just need to find/recognize their strengths and move past their shortcomings. Reality hurts sometimes, but pain is a part of life too. Kids need to learn that as much as some adults. The ability to cope with one’s failures says more about a person than their ability to leverage their successes. We should not take that lesson away from our children by removing all sense of competition from their lives.