Please Tell Me I’m Cute

I read this week about a nine-year-old boy who was suspended from school in Gastonia, North Carolina, for sexual harassment. It seems that a substitute teacher overheard him say that one of the teachers in the school is “cute.” Yikes! Might they have charged him with a hate crime if he had said she was “ugly?”

This news story caused me to reflect back over my many years as a teacher, and I started to wonder where such a kid as this one was while I was teaching. I had many first graders call me “mommy,” a fifth grader who wanted to know if I might be planning to get a divorce  because she wanted me to meet her dad, and a second grader who asked me if my age was seventy-five. (I was thirty-nine at the time.) But never did a student say that I was cute.

While thinking about school systems where I taught and about what is going on in schools across the nation now, it occurred to me that absurd punitive measures have been administered all too frequently over the years. These actions are not the actions of the majority of educators, but rather a tiny minority of administrators and teachers. Unfortunately, the actions of these people sully the profession as a whole and cause children to dislike school.

For the small minority of educators who apparently know little about children, I have some advice. Get your semi-educated minds in gear. Go back to the university and retake the Child and Adolescent Development course. The little people you have been charged with educating are not miniature adults. They have experiences based on the years they have been on this earth; they think as children think; they understand as young minds comprehend; they analyze as immature brains process information; they act as children act. Get off their cases and let them be children. Better yet, find a new career.

I know stupid can’t be fixed, but ignorant can be remediated. Get to work on it, teachers and administrators!

Now that I’ve vented, I feel better.  But I’m still upset that at least one child I taught during my career didn’t think I was cute.


  1. Wow. Rant.

    I am sure many students thought you were cute, but they were too inhibited to say so.

    (I have to press my conscience down to do it, but I accomodate myself to today's school climate by ignoring it. Yeah, yeah; if I'm not part of the solution, ...)

  2. I've had more than one student ask me if I was married and one even told me that his mom told him to ask for her.

    And I can agree with the absurd punitive punishments. I've seen kindergartners suspended for pushing in line...

  3. Vanilla, I get really angry when I read about things like this. I'm starting to understand those home schooling moms who want to protect their children.

  4. Josh, sounds like a mom is chasing you.

    A kindergarten child suspended for pushing in line? Wow, what can I say?

  5. Recently, our 7 year old grand daughter was disciplined for having told a classmate that he hadn't seen God because nobody can see God. She carries her little Bible to school and for this has been reprimanded.

  6. Anonymous, how sad that a young child is being persecuted for her faith. Our country is so different now from the country I knew as a child. If we pay attention to what is happening to Bronco's player, Tim Tebow, we have to recognize how secularized and intolerant of Christianity our nation is becoming. (Just said a prayer for your granddaughter!)