14 comments on “Discrimination!

  1. Oh boy! This really hits a nerve with me.

    This is done at my son’s school too and I take serious issue with it. I started to explain my feelings on the subject and before I knew it I had a 500 word comment here. I wasn’t sure if it would be appropriate to post one that long, so I might just write a post about it and link to you. Whatever you prefer, Gary; just let me know.

    Bottom line, this is wrong and absurd and I totally agree with you!

  2. I’m happy for you to post whatever you wish in my comments, Lottie. Never worry about that. (Incidentally, I’ve just realised that I haven’t replied to your e-mail, yet! Sorry about that — my head has been all over the place the last couple of days! How are you feeling, now? Better, I hope?)

    They do this in the States? It’s outrageous. Not having kids of my own, I’m not sure what happens here in the UK but this is so out of line that I find it difficult to believe that they actually get away with it. If my son (assuming I had one!) was having a party, I would not want him inviting all of his classmates because of some school blanket-rule — my primary reason being that I remember what it was like to be a child myself. I had friends at school. And there were kids that I couldn’t abide. Some, I hated with a passion. The very idea of inviting them to a party would have been, even to the child I was, painful and hypocritical.

    We dislike other children for a reason. It’s how we learn to be discerning. Kids don’t dislike without a reason and, within reason, they should be allowed to express this — even by snubbing them in this way.

    I really find this “let’s all love one another”-bullshit highly offensive.

  3. Don’t worry about the email, Gary. I know you’ve had a lot going on. And I’m feeling much better, thanks.

    Yes, they do it here. As to the UK, my son attended school there for half a year and it was not our experience. We were there for Easter and he gave Cadbury eggs to several kids, and something a little more special to a couple of his closer friends. He didn’t give anything to the kids he didn’t like. This was all done out in the open, and no-one complained.

    I had friends at school. And there were kids that I couldn’t abide. Some, I hated with a passion. The very idea of inviting them to a party would have been, even to the child I was, painful and hypocritical.

    Exactly! I totally agree! And I’m also offended by the “let’s all love one another”-bullshit. It’s not normal.

    Since you don’t mind me posting a long comment, here is what I started to post before:

    That’s how it is at my son’s school too, and I think it’s absurd! It’s wrong on so many levels. As you already mentioned, there’s the matter of forced inclusion and acceptance. Not only does it remove the right of children to choose their friends, it undermines the importance of forming special friendships and bonds with certain people to whom they feel particularly close, as well as undermining those friendships, themselves.

    This practice also places an unnecessary burden on parents. What if they don’t have room for twenty or thirty kids in their house? Why should they be forced to rent a facility or go to one of those places where the host pays a certain amount of money per guest (usually about $10 per head around here) just because the school wants to dictate who comes to someone’s private birthday party?

    Not to mention the fact that there were a couple of little gangsters-in-training in my son’s class this past year, who constantly threatened violence against him and were always in trouble for one thing or another. I absolutely will not, under any circumstances, allow my son to associate with those boys, much less encourage it by inviting them to his birthday parties. Not even if he wanted to, which he doesn’t.

    This bizarre practice also sets kids up for unrealistic expectation in the real world, and instills a sense of entitlement that they’re not, well, entitled to. What happens when these kids get jobs and a few of their co-workers are talking about getting together after work and don’t invite them? They need to learn to be OK with that. Not everyone is going to like you, much less be your best friend. And that’s OK! And it’s also OK not to like everyone.

    I want my son to learn that it’s OK to have a select group of friends, in fact I encourage it. I’ve told him that popularity is over-rated; that it’s better to have a handful of good, true, loyal friends, than to be surrounded by a large group of so-called friends, half of whom would sell you out in a heartbeat.

    Yes, this is a bizarre practice in my opinion. It’s intrusive and presumptuous and not at all healthy.

    My son also refuses to participate in the exchange of cards and gifts at holiday class parties because he doesn’t want to give stuff to the kids who constantly bully him. It’s ironic that a rule which is intended to guard against anyone being excluded, has forced my son to exclude himself as a matter of principle. Well, at least he has principles.

    Really, Gary, if you think this is too long, you don’t have to approve it. No hard feelings. I’ll just link to you from mine.

  4. Believe me when I say this – Political Correctness will be the end of society as we know it. But on the bright side, it will also mean the death of PC!

  5. Seriously? I think the teacher was born an adult, supposing childhood never got into memories due to nut-sized brain.

    Our first 12 years of less-than-a-century life span determines what kind of adult we would become. It’s pricelessly unreplacable.

  6. Saw about this on another website. Good grief. Must have been a good reason for the boy not inviting his classmates for all the teacher knew the two could have been bullying him and he was too afraid to say so or that he just plain just didn’t get on with them. Why should he be forced to spend time with people he doesn’t like potentially ruining his party for him. The idea of a blanket invite everyone rule. Madness.

  7. This is ridiculous to the point of outrage. People should have the right to invite whoever the want, everything in this world doesn’t have to be politically correct. It sickens me, I’m from the States so I have no clue what they can do in Sweden, but I doubt confiscating private property for that lowly reason is one! When I was younger in school, we weren’t aloud to hand out invitations in class for this reason. Fear of discrimination. We’re not socialists, everything doesn’t have to be equal, so not everyone has to like each other.

    Thanks for posting this up, good article and post.

    D.F. Rucci

  8. I’ll bet that this is the type of school system which refuses to mark a student down for giving a wrong answer. It is so much more important to look after their self-esteem rather that to actually teach them anything. Can I leave this planet mow, please?

  9. Briefly, because I’m a little short on time, today, I’d just like to thank you all for your thoughts and comments on this. It’s nice to see that others (as I’d expected) feel as strongly about this as I do. It seems to me that, if people like this have their way, we are heading for a Stepford World. Nice, safe, predictable — and utterly, utterly fucked up and fake.

    I’d rather someone truthfully tell me that they hate me than lie by telling me they love me.

  10. Archie:

    It is so much more important to look after their self-esteem rather that to actually teach them anything.

    So true. And the end result will likely be that, as adults, they will be unable to cope with the slightest offense, much less rejection.

    What this system fails to recognize is that self-esteem can actually be strengthened through resistance. Sure, some kids are going to get their feelings hurt. But they will also learn that the earth doesn’t stop spinning and the sky doesn’t fall as a result.

    Kids can’t learn to cope with difficulty if they’re never allowed to experience it. Rather than trying to shield them from everything that might sting a little, we ought to be teaching them coping skills and helping to guide them through those difficulties. You know… that thing some people call “reality”. We’re not doing them any favors by guarding them from it.


    I’d rather someone truthfully tell me that they hate me than lie by telling me they love me.


  11. We’re not doing them any favors by guarding them from it.

    Especially if they want to become writers! Imagine how they’d cope with rejection after rejection! Doesn’t bear thinking about…

    Seriously, though, I really fear from many of the kids of today. If these politically correct idiots have their way (and I’m not quite as pessimistic as Will, but who can say where it will end?) they can look forward to a future where their right to speak freely is seriously curtailed whilst their capacity for dealing with the restrictive world around them will be seriously impacted upon. A nightmare.

  12. I couldn’t agree with you more, Gary. I’m really glad you posted this. I’m thinking of writing a letter to our district’s School Board. When I do, I would like to use this discussion as a guide. If I use any direct quotes, I’ll run them by you in e-mail before I send it off. Would that be OK with you?

  13. It’s like uniforms at school- we’re not communists whether people like it or not, we gotta teach our children how to deal with people who don’t like us. Not everyone will.

  14. That’s fine, Lottie. Use any relevant quotes you feel you need.

    Hi, Jenn! Nice to see you over here. Been a while. You’re quite right, not everyone will like us or agree with us. It’s important that kids learn that.

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