Honestly this isn’t a social issue, at least I don’t think it is. Then again, maybe it is.
I don’t know how many of you may have read the lovely little grim short story ‘The Steadfast Tin Soldier’ but if you have you know what I’m talking about when I say grim. It is tragic, sad, and I have to say gruesome. Yes gruesome. If you haven’t read it look it up and take the time to please read it.
This story was handed, in a shortened, although not to watered down, version to a group of second graders to read. First that something this complicated was handed to a bunch of small children to read was surprising to me. I don’t know about you, but the story isn’t something I would expect a second grader to be able to easily read. You add to this the fact that such a grim story was handed to a bunch of second graders blows my mind.
In the story you have a self-aware little toy soldier as well as a self-aware little ballet dancer who ultimately end up burning up in a fire. What the hell folks. The people I’ve talked to have found this a horrible thing to hand a small child. My husband is holding on to the fact that at least the children have no idea about what the story is saying, yes, he is one of the ones upset over it, but I say a lot of them do.
I know one of these children does have some idea of what the story is saying, she was burned as a child when she crawled across a floor heater and she remembers it. She also has a parent who is a first responder. She is also a very empathetic individual. I guarantee she had some idea of what the story was saying. These two self-aware toys ended in the fireplace being burned to ashes. What the hell?
What the teacher doesn’t know is that one of the students in her class has a parent who is really close with someone you don’t want to make mad when it comes to teaching because of what this person does. I’ll just say she is much higher on the food chain when it comes to education and she is pissed. Yes, she is going to pursue this.
Pay attention to what your children are being taught and that means being aware of what they are being handed as homework assignments. Our children are traumatized enough with just day to day life and the last thing they need is some teacher handing something to them that could cause them to have nightmares and or ending up making them hate to read. Mutilation, pain, and the total destruction in such a story isn’t something I would have handed one of my daughters at that age. I know things have changed over the years, but God help us if it has changed that much.
You want to hand them something that helps them understand people being handicapped, heroic, with different family grounds, or ethnic differences, great. I’m all for it. Handing them a story of something being viciously destroyed because of handicapped isn’t what I would consider appropriate for second grade students.