I usually end the work week with a cat post, or some cute animal, but this article is pretty funny.
An piece in news.com.au reports that a primary school in Sydney, Australia, in deference to those students who might be sensitive to noise, has issued an edict that there will be NO clapping or cheering at public assemblies.
In its July 18 newsletter, the Elanora school has published an item under the headline “Did you know” that “our school has adopted silent cheers at assembly’s” (sic).
“If you’ve been to a school assembly recently, you may have noticed our students doing silent cheers,” the item reads.
“Instead of clapping, the students are free to punch the air, pull excited faces and wriggle about on the spot.
“The practice has been adopted to respect members of our school community who are sensitive to noise.
“When you attend an assembly, teachers will prompt the audience to conduct a silent cheer if it is needed.
“Teachers have also found the silent cheers to be a great way to expend children’s energy and reduce fidgeting.”
The bit in bold above (my emphasis) makes me laugh out loud—and snort in derision.
As the old Ginsu Knife commercial went, “But wait! There’s more!”:
The ban follows a direction at exclusive Cheltenham Girls High School in northwest Sydney for teachers to avoid discrimination and support LGBTI students by avoiding the words “girls”, “ladies” or “women”.
Teachers were told that if they didn’t support this decision, they’d be considered not only homophobic, but breaking the law.
But wait! There’s still more!! No hugging or handshakes! That’s bad: use knuckle handshakes instead!
Elanora Heights Public School’s ban on clapping in favour of silent cheering comes after several schools have banned hugging.
In April, hugging was banned at a Geelong primary school and children were told to find other ways to show affection.
St Patricks Primary School principal John Grant said “nothing in particular” had caused hugging to be replaced by high fiving or “a knuckle handshake”.
“But in this current day and age we are really conscious about protecting kids and teaching them from a young age that you have to be cautious,” Mr Grant said.
He said he had spoken to teachers about his decision to ban hugging and then the teachers had spoken to classes, instructing the children on different methods of showing affection. He had not sent any correspondence home to parents but said there would now be a letter going home on Monday.
“There’s a range of methods including a high five or a particular knuckle handshake where they clunk knuckles as a simple way of saying ‘well done’,” Mr Grant said. “There are also verbal affirmations and acknowledgments.”
Children at the school have been enthusiastic huggers, he said, with hugs given out to teachers and other children.
“We have a lot of kids who walk up and hug each other and we’re trying to encourage all of us to respect personal space,” Mr Grant said. “It really comes back to not everyone is comfortable in being hugged.”
What are we teaching our students when they prohibit them from a spontaneous hug? Does the downside of that (students who don’t want to be hugged) outweigh the upside (bonding between kids)? Are we breeding a generation of adults that can’t show that kind of affection—that will give a knuckle handshake to another person who’s had great news? I myself am somewhat shy about hugging, but when I overcome that tendency and hug a new friend, or someone I’ve known on the Internet for a long time, it always has a good result: bonding or more closeness.
I’m literally shaking and crying right now over Australia’s entrance into the pantheon of the Regressive Left. I can’t even. . .
h/t: Greg Mayer