09 July 2009

Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign

Whatever happened to "Read a good book this summer!" or "Have fun and be safe!" on school reader-boards? For the month leading up to Independence Day, the reader-board on the middle school I drive by on my way to work read, "Fireworks are Illegal. $513 fine in Spokane." At first I laughed, but in retrospect, it makes me sort of sad. Yes, fireworks are illegal in Spokane County. Yes, we can get them very easily because we are about twenty minutes from Idaho. Yes, middle-schoolers probably should not play with fireworks even if they were not illegal. But is it the responsibility of the school to warn them against that? Is such a warning even effective? I feel like the kids who are likely to acquire and play with fireworks are the ones who are also likely, in general, to do whatever the school says not to do. Signs like this seem to me to, at worst, aggravate the problem, or, at best, have no effect whatsoever. I very much prefer those signs which encourage good behavior, not discourage negative. After all, while the message is essentially the same, "Read Read Read" or "Have fun in the Sun!" are much nicer than "Stop being a couch potato!" or "TV rots your brain!"

Blessings on your travels,

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