Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Common Courtesy, not Tolerance

Photo found here
Some people preach tolerance. Some people preach anti-tolerance. Personally, I'm not a huge advocate of the former. But I'm not promoting hate, either. 

I am, however, an advocate for common courtesy. 

After Twitter user @kristinf416 posted a photo of her child's "Kindergarten News" parent note, blogs and "the news" started getting feisty. You can read the note on her Twitter page, here on The Blaze, or on several other places on the internet. 

Let me begin by pointing out that there is no controversy here as some authors are suggesting. 

First of all, @kristinf416 has a whopping 18 followers (as of today). @kristinf416 is not trying to speak to a huge audience. 

Second, @kristinf416 never used the word tolerance in her post. @kristinf416 is not advocating for or against tolerance.

Finally, the policy on the teacher's note has been a policy for many years (if not decades) in most elementary classrooms across America. If you're going to bring a Valentine card, bring one for everyone. 

The fact that the teacher does not want names on the card is simple: it makes it quicker and easier to pass out the cards. Imagine 16 little bodies running around a room trying to match the right name to the right person's desk. They can hardly read, for goodness sake. Just leave the "To" section on the card blank.

There are a couple things I find pathetic about this letter, and it's not the letter. 

One is this: Haters of tolerance advocates who think the tolerance advocates are taking it too far need to stop proving to the tolerance advocates that non-tolerance-advocates are, indeed, haters. 

The other thing... okay, I'm just gonna say it.Teacher's should not have to send this letter out in the first place. The parent should already know how many children are in their child's classroom and the parent should teach their child that everyone gets a Valentine's Day card, even if we don't like little Johnny. 


It's common courtesy. 

But, but, but... life is hard! You don't always get treated fairly! Sometimes our feelings get hurt! Kids need to learn that!

Yes, it's true, sometimes feelings are hurt.

But it's also true that children have plenty of other opportunities to learn that. 

And they will learn that.

No need to learn it on Valentine's Day in front of the whole classroom. No need to have crocodile tears for the teacher to have to deal with when we're supposed to be having fun.

So don't worry, enemies of tolerance. They will learn, if they haven't already, that life isn't fair. 

And stop cheering, tolerance supporters. Giving a Valentine to every kid is just a little something called courtesy.

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