As a young child I was wisely instructed that: “Sticks and stones may break your bones, but names can never hurt you”. As this empowering information was reaffirmed by my teachers, I cultivated a tenacious resolve that shielded me against the unkind things that would inevitably be said to me throughout my life.
Frequently frolicking outdoors, I discovered that my playmates had received a similar instruction. However, there were times when we departed from our parents’ admonitions and directed indecent comments towards one another. Upon recognizing this infraction, with feigned pity and disgust, we took great pride in robustly scolding the unfortunate playmate who had violated the parental directive that we all had received.
Gleefully, we would persuasively recite in cadence the aforementioned refrain: “sticks and stones may break your bones, but names can never hurt you”. Didn’t these wretched simpletons know that they had no power to harm us with their words? Without exception, the ‘name callers’ would abruptly cease their taunts and insults.
As children we were aware that the verbalization’s of another did not have the power to hurt. This liberating reassurance freed and protected us from the unkind utterances that can be expected from kids and misguided adults. It formed an indispensable foundation, which prompted us to think, dream, explore and express ourselves in a manner that was independent of the opinion of others.
In stark contrast to that emancipating wisdom, we have a school district that teaches our children: “Words Can Hurt”. A large banner prominently displayed at the entrance to an elementary and middle school greets our students every day with this frightening and debilitating notion. Instructional programs within the school district celebrate and reinforce this dishonest and injurious proposition.
Children chronically exposed to such indoctrinating propaganda can be traumatized. Where will an antidote that remedies the contamination that is impacting these young minds come from? What other fallacious doctrines does the school district promote as fact. Taxpayers fund every bit of information disseminated in our schools.
Instructing children that the words of another may damage them, diminishes their capacity to learn, explore and seek the truth. It’s a cruel hoax that provides another convenient alibi for school districts to furnish our children with a second-rate education.
Creating a classroom environment that actually provides a nurturing experience where safety, analytical reasoning, skill mastery and academic achievement internally generates a student’s confidence, self-esteem and imagination is hard and challenging work, however, it’s where the focus of our attention and energy belongs.
Consolidating a concentrated effort to provide every child in the United States with a world-class education can be done. Thus far, we have lacked the will to do so.