Boo-ooo! to Cheers
Years ago when I heard about teachers switching to purple ink in place of red to correct student work, I thought it was a goof. The reasoning behind the change involved red having a “negative, aggressive connotation” that undermines students’ self-confidence. Okkaayyy. Purple, on the other hand, apparently softens the blow, said the experts. Professional Pen Ink People?
Wrong is wrong. Teachers can mark in whip cream, which to my knowledge is neither negative nor aggressive, but it doesn’t change the fact students will lose points for wrong answers (in red or purple!) and most likely, need to study harder next time. That’s life -- no matter what color you camouflage it in.
I designate the following current event to the same unsound (has the whole world gone nuts?) category:
A South Carolina mom was arrested on Saturday for cheering too loudly at her daughter's high school graduation ceremony. One of the happiest days of her life, she said, quickly became a nightmare when she was taken away in handcuffs and charged with disorderly conduct. (A conviction can result in up to a $100 fine or up to thirty days imprisonment.) The overenthusiastic mom spent the rest of the ceremony and several additional hours in jail until posting a $225 bond.
The exuberant woman’s daughter had no idea mom had been arrested until informed by friends. "Yesterday can't be replaced... My mama went to jail on my graduation day," the high school grad told reporters. "It’s not disorderly conduct -- just a happy parent." Outlaw-mom agrees and doesn't think that she acted any differently than other parents when their graduates' names were announced.
Maybe the school's principal did make an announcement about holding applause until the end and that disruption of the ceremony wouldn’t be tolerated; however, handcuffing a proud mother for the crime of cheering zealously isn’t disruptive?
When I cheer for my kids I’m not cheering against anyone else’s. My cheering doesn’t mean I think my kid’s better, more important or more popular than yours or that I love my kid more.” It just means, “Way to go, I’m proud of your hard work, effort, achievement.” That’s it. In fact, I’ve clapped and hollered for many students besides my own, kids who I’ve watched grow up alongside mine. Besides, eventually some “cheer reading” experts will decide that we don’t cheer often enough for our kids.
For the record, one of my angels took seven long years to graduate college, so you better believe I whooped it up when he walked across that stage. After three attempts to pass biology, seven years of tuition and countless sleepless nights wondering if it would ever happen, well, in the words of the mom martyr, “How can I not cheer for my child?”
So, how ‘bout a Bronx cheer for the South Florence school district?
Jennifer McCloud always wanted to be a mom. That's why, after difficulties getting pregnant, the native Nashvillian was elated to discover she was pregnant. With triplets!
To read this and other Her Well-Being stories, click here.