Friday, March 17, 2006
I noted with interest the story of the six year old boy suspended from school for touching the waist of a female classmate. The charge was sexual harassment. This followed on the heels of the two first graders suspended for bringing their GI Joes to class, along with the rubber four inch long rifle that comes with the doll. The charge here was violation of the zero tolerance weapons policy at their school. You have also no doubt heard about the grammar school boy who was suspended for drawing a picture of his family. It showed his father holding a rifle. That his father is in the army, and is presently serving our nation in Iraq, did not seem to satisfy the school administrators, who said the picture violated school policy as it showed a weapon.
The venerable battleship, the USS IOWA, can’t find a home to serve out her days in dignity as a museum in San Francisco, since the Board of Supervisors doesn’t want to glorify the military. The University of Washington declined to approve a monument to Marine hero Pappy Boyington, the WWII ace and medal of honor recipient, because he did not display the characteristics that the University wants to ascribe to its graduates.
These occurrences are causing me to have grave concerns about my four year old grandson. In an America where political correctness is the rule, progressive education preaches relativity when discussing right and wrong, violent criminals spend less time in jail than their victims spend in the hospital, patriotism is a choice rather than an obligation, and religion is treated like a contagious disease; he is going to stick out like a sore thumb. I fear that he is destined to run afoul of the zero tolerance mania affecting schools, or go against the efforts to turn all of our young men into metrosexuals. You see, he is being raised as a boy.
My daughter, his mom, was an athlete in school, and encourages him to try any sport he has an interest in. She is quite willing to pitch to him and play catch with a baseball, run pass patterns when he wants to throw a football, serve as a tackling dummy when he wants to practice blocking and tackling, and play defense against his attempts to drive to the hoop. And if she is not available, grandpa will do as a substitute. Mom, who is a nurse, is also active in the Boy Scouts, serving as a Commissioner and medic at various Scouting functions. He is eager to reach 1st grade, so he can join the Cub Scouts. He already has said he wants to be an Eagle Scout, just like his uncle. He has been to the local Scout camp on numerous occasions for events in which either his mother or I have participated. He is already an experienced camper, and looks forward to being a real Boy Scout.
He also has a strong case of hero worship for two of his uncles. His mother’s oldest brother has a small acreage, and this four year old has been on the tractor, front end loader, and Bobcat. This uncle has an auto repair business, and the lad enjoys working with him, handing him tools, and learning how cars work. The other uncle is in the military, preparing for deployment to the Middle East. Because of his uncle’s status in the service, my grandson has had the opportunity to be in a tank, a helicopter, and a Humvee. He has been on the observation stand to watch the soldiers practice on the rifle range, and heard the 105’s and 155’s fire. He knows American soldiers are the good guys, and that they keep us safe from bad guys who hurt little children.
His other grandfather is a bow hunter, and is teaching the boy how to use a bow properly. A cut down reflex bow and shortened practice arrows have facilitated his enjoyment of this activity, and he can hit his target at fifty feet eight out of ten tries. I am a sport shooter, and my grandson has watched both skeet and stationary target shooting with rifles and shotguns. Two of his older cousins are police officers, and he has seen their pistols, and knows why they have a need for them. He thinks police are cool, and dressed as a policeman last October, during Halloween. He knows police are the good guys, and are there to help and protect us.
My grandson also joins us at church services, and has a healthy respect for the awesome power and love that God has for him. He says that God makes thunder so that we will get out of the rain that the plants need to grow. He thinks guardian angels are kind of like grandpas, because they are there to protect him, and keep him from getting hurt. He is beginning to understand that while hurting people for no reason is bad, protecting yourself and your family is OK, even if you have to hurt someone to do that. He kneels at church, and stands at attention and salutes when he sees an American flag. For a four year old, he has a pretty good set of priorities.
Yes, he is being raised as a boy, so that he will be ready to be a man when the time comes. That is, if he doesn’t have to change to accommodate the school rules. My grandfather told me fifty years ago that neither common sense nor common courtesy are all that common. I sure hope the common sense part doesn’t cause him problems.
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