So yeah. That’s what we in the news biz call a no-s*** headline.
Apparently, however, our school district needs to be reminded of this adage.
Or, let me put it this way:
All jackets are not created equal.
In recent weeks, I and other parents have received numerous notes from teachers and school officials about our children’s jackets and sweaters.
The edict: If your cold-natured child wants to wear his or her jacket or sweater in the classroom, it must be a solid color (red, white or navy) without any emblems or logos on it.
That pretty much means your only option is to order a jacket through the PTA. (Although I seem to remember that these, too, have logos on them. Have they been outlawed for classroom wear too?)
The reason for all this jacket hoopla, I’m told, is that some children were wearing designer jackets, prompting school officials to proclaim: Oh my goodness! How unfair!
Hence the notes tucked into the kids’ backpacks.
Guess what, people?
Life is not fair.
And I say that as a mom who buys her children’s jackets (and clothes, for that matter) at Target or Academy. In my world, going upscale means a trip to Penney’s.
Educators: I don’t want you to shield my kids from inequality.
I want you to help me teach them how to make the best of what they’ve got.
In real life, everyone who joins a team doesn’t get a first-place trophy for merely participating. And in real life, not everybody’s mommy shops at Dillard’s.
Can we stop trying to over-protect our children and instead teach them the benefits of perseverance and practice? Or how about gratitude that they have jackets, for pete’s sake.
I mean, seriously. Jacket-inequality? For reals?
And now let’s address the logistics involved in this silly effort to be fair.
First, my kids wouldn’t know what a Ralph Lauren polo pony was if it sprang off an offending jacket and pooped at their feet.
Second: For three years, I ordered jackets or hoodies from the PTA. And for three years, those blasted things got taken home by other kids (by accident) and we spent the remaining semester trying to track them down. Two were never returned. And yes, I put my kids’ names on their outwear.
This year, I decided that we’ve lost enough of those jackets. So I didn’t buy any.
Third: In this economy, when people already are struggling, you want those same people who already bought jackets to go out and purchase new ones?
I’m not replacing my children’s jackets from Academy or Target because they might hurt a Walmart shopper’s feelings. (And no, I’m not dissing Walmart. The only reason I don’t like to shop there is because it’s always so crowded and I’m convinced that I will one day be run over by someone in a packed-out Walmart parking lot.)
While my kids’ jackets may not make the cut for classroom wear, they stand a much better chance of making it home each day.
I still, however, can’t believe this subject is even up for debate.
What’s next? A ban on designer eyeglasses?
And what happens when the kids get to high school? Will cool sports cars be banned for fear of shaming those who drive, oh, say, a Dodge Omni.
(That’s what I drove to school. And I was grateful for that car, just like my high school BFF was grateful for her sputtering little Rabbit. It sure beat an hour-long bus ride, which was our alternative.)
So c’mon: How far do you plan to run with this?
Please — abandon this ridiculous effort to make our children believe that everything is fair.
Because it’s not.
And you’re not doing them any favors by pretending that it is.