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School Kids from an Extinct Generation

Updated on January 24, 2010

School Days: Then and Now

School days, a mere 40 years ago, would be unrecognizable in today's society. Just about everything is different now, even text books are becoming extinct. Friendships are different, recess is monitored and can be a dangerous scene. Children are not allowed to be 'children' anymore.

In times gone by, teachers and school were respected. Defacing school buildings was non-existent, lewd and vicious actions were unheard of, and drugs, alcohol, and killing were not part of a child's everyday vocabularies.

The importance of school was all about learning. Reading, writing, and arithmetic, art, chorus, gym, and band were essential. Recess was a time to shoot marbles, not other children. Bombs were balloons filled with water and dropped on unsuspecting schoolmates. Drugs were antiseptics and band aids the nurse would apply to skinned knees and scratched elbows.

Colors of clothing did not indicate gang membership. Boys did not wear hats to school, much less wear them backwards. Breasts and buttocks were not displayed openly, and pants fitted around the waists.

When the U.S. Flag was raised, the children stood and placed their right hands over their hearts. When the Lord's Prayer was recited, everyone bowed their heads. Holidays were celebrated by all, and no one had a problem about other religious beliefs.

This was school, and respecting the flag or hearing a prayer did not threaten or offend anyone. Jewish, German, American and other songs were heard and sang without infringing on anyone's rights or beliefs. This was school, I t was a place to learn about history and different cultures. Knowledge provided things to ponder and research, not ways to judge or force others to comply.

If assignments were not completed, offensive language heard in class, or rules were not followed, a trip to the principals office was in order. Students could be faced with detention, extra homework, or suspension. Parents supported school rules and did not rescue their kids from just and fair punishment.

Respect of others and oneself were part of growing up. Honesty and truth were expected from everyone. Responsibility was readily accepted by school children. Stealing or destroying others property were not condoned. Encounters with a stranger, police, doctor, teacher, or bus driver were not necessarily stressful or dangerous situations.

Learning about guns were not a radical or immoral lessons. Many countryside children learned about guns from their dads. They learned about gun cleaning, shooting, and safety, not how to kill other children or parents. Doctors prescribed drugs to cure illnesses. Children had sleep-overs without fear of being raped by adults. Puppy love was innocent and did not include rape, abuse, or physical violence.

So many innocent life experiences have changed, and many more cease to exist. Children are taught to distrust and suspect everyone. Hopscotch, dodge ball, hide and go seek, and playing sports cannot seem to be played just for the sake of playing. Today it's all about winning, no matter what harm or damage needs to be done to the other person.

This poem I found, explain a lot in a few short lines. Although, I do not know who composed it, the words express how school life was and what it is not today. By being a society of 'followers' and buying into the demands of others, childhood, perhaps, should be ranked among the extinct.

Mary Had a Little Lamb

Mary had a little lamb,

Its fleece was white as snow.

And, everywhere that Mary went,

The Lamb was sure to go.

He followed her to school one day,

Wasn't even in the rule.

He made the children laugh and play,

to have a Lamb at school.

And, then one day the rules all changed.

Illegal it became to bring the Lamb of God to school,

Or even speak His name.

Everyday got worse and worse,

As days turned into years.

What must we do to stop the crime

That's in our schools today?

Let's let the Lamb come back to school,

and teach our kids to pray.


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    • ivori profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Eisenberg 

      8 years ago from Titusville

      Thank you for your comment, Cari Jean. Yes, childhood used to be innocent and carefree, but no more.

    • Cari Jean profile image

      Cari Jean 

      8 years ago from Bismarck, ND

      With my daughter in elementary school and I am constantly thinking back to how it was for me in school. It was so different. School is no longer the safe haven it used to be. Great hub and wonderful but sad poem.

    • ivori profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Eisenberg 

      8 years ago from Titusville

      Being a kid without fearing everyone and everything sure was easier. Thanks for your comment, CM.

    • carolina muscle profile image

      carolina muscle 

      8 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      I miss the more innocent days, fer sure. Nice post, Ivori!

    • ivori profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Eisenberg 

      8 years ago from Titusville

      Thank you kindly, Faye.

    • creativeone59 profile image

      benny Faye Douglass 

      8 years ago from Gold Canyon, Arizona

      Thank you ivori for a reminder of how scholl uuse to be. Thank you for sharing.Godsped. creativeone59


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