2011-04-15 / Letters

In Education, Little Is Trivial

Dear Editor,

Obviously a gun of any kind in school is an extremely serious issue. But I would like to comment on the statement made by an anonymous father that points out another very important issue, “It was a mistake to keep the older kids here,” “The really bright kids seem to all go to the Scholars’ Academy, and the troublemakers stay here.” First of all, all the children at MS 114 are not troublemakers. I know many of these children as family, friends and neighbors. I have instructed CCD to some at St. Francis and interacted with them through my involvement at PS/MS 114. They are not much different from other children their age. As for being less “bright” than those who go to Scholars’, or Mark Twain for that matter, it is questionable. Being bright is really an arbitrary and unclear description of anyone. Intelligence is expressed in many diverse ways. Scholars’ is an excellent school that offers a program for a group of motivated children that have the ability to function in a particular atmosphere. We are fortunate to have this option but it is just that, an option. It is not a standard or goal that is set for all children.

Children in middle school are at a very difficult time in their lives, puberty, maturity and an increasingly complex and intense world. It seems it would be very difficult for these children to deal with these conflicting feelings, demands and emotions while sharing a school with kindergartners, first graders, etc.

So I think it is wrong to label them as troublemakers and imply that they are less than bright because they do not go to Scholars’.

I think it is particularly painful when it is seen in a community newspaper read by family, friends and neighbors. I do agree with the anonymous father, “It was a mistake to keep the older kids.” They should be in a separate environment in a school where the particular needs of this age group can be addressed. But they are here and should be treated with respect and consideration and not grouped under any blanket label.

This may seem to some a trivial point given the seriousness of a gun in school, but I believe there is little that goes on in a child’s education that is trivial.

Quite often one event can open up an awareness of other issues. We get one opportunity with our children and it should be approached with open minds, support and compassion.

LARRY GRAY

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