Time out, Donny!

Donny Trump

As we watched the news last night and saw Mr. Trump make his racist “s***hole” remark, I found myself saying (in my best teacher voice), “Time out, Donny!” and, ridiculous though it was, I waited for someone in that illustrious gathering pictured onscreen to call for an immediate Class Meeting. That’s what was needed, pure and simple.

I’ll wager that first-grader Donny Trump never experienced a Class Meeting at the Kew-Forest private military school where he attended first grade.  I doubt that collaboration with your six-year-old peers was  high on the priority list. Had he been at any of the public schools where I was teaching, on the other hand, Class Meetings would have been part of his every day life.  The language he used to describe the countries he apparently doesn’t like would not have been tolerated.  Not for a minute.

Not only would young Donny have had a time-out, he would have had a full opportunity to explain his terminology and his reasons for using it and then he’d have had an opportunity to hear what his classmates thought about his vocabulary.  And we would have discussed the words “appropriate” and “inappropriate” and, perhaps, had an opportunity to look up “s***hole” in the dictionary, extending our discussion to real words, made-up words and the definition of “profanity.”  Perhaps we might have talked about far-away countries and people who speak other languages or whose customs might be different from ours.  Or even had an impromptu lesson on immigration.

Class Meeting

For sure, his choice of words would have come under scrutiny bigtime – by those who counted most.  His peers.  But come to think of it, in thirty-nine years of teaching six- seven- and eight-year-olds and in thirty-nine years of holding Class Meetings every single day – I don’t think I ever heard a child use that particular word or one even comparable.  Little kids come to school already knowing a lot about what’s appropriate.  Just as little kids need few reminders about “family business” versus “okay for school discussion,” they have pretty clear ideas about acceptable vocabulary.

I’ve read that little Donny was a boy who had tantrums and, according to one biographer, has bragged, “When I look at myself in the first grade and I look at myself now, I’m basically the same. The temperament is not that different.”   Yes, little Donny.  Last night’s news clip bore that out.  Too bad you didn’t have an opportunity to sit in the “share circle” in your first-grade classroom. It might have made a difference.  For all of us!

One Response to “Time out, Donny!”

  1. Carole Reid says:

    One can only hope that a difference would have been made. Of course, your teaching experience and your methods of handling “delicate” situations looks as if it was highly successful. But I don’t want to be considered his “peer” in any incarnation and he truly brings out the profanity in me. That is the six year old face of a vacant eyed, sociopath.

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