This week is Red Ribbon week. We tell the kids to say "no" to drugs and give them bookmarks and elastic bracelets to remind them of the word "no."
There's nothing like a kindergartner or first grader asking, "what are drugs?"
I get the idea of planting the seed early and conditioning kids to make good choices when the time comes, but sometimes I think it's too much too soon. They're still trying to figure out the right direction to draw the number 7, and we're telling them about drugs.
College is the other big one for me. One school I work at has each classroom themed like a university. Usually, the one the residing teacher attended. Each room has a bulletin board in the school colors with a banner, streamers, etc. Another elementary school has a line about attending college within their school pledge that they recite after the Pledge of Allegiance.
This is another message I think we might be drilling in with too much enthusiasm. I get that dropout rates are bad, and that we want kids to finish high school and be eligible for college. I also get that the job market 0pens up substantially for those with a college degree, but truthfully, college isn't for everyone. There are many worthy trades where a degree is not necessary. Why are we obsessed with this message? And are we filling young heads with information that only confuses them and adds to the stresses they already face on a daily basis when we give them these broad instructions on how to deal with situations they're not going to face for many years, if at all?