Today my little first grader has been picked to give a short talk about "Tolerance" during morning announcements at Stepford Elementary. I didn't realize that schools had moved passed the PA system to live video feed to each classroom... Well, at least the "Blue-Ribbon schools" that score well and get the lot of the NCLB funding I guess.
Anyway, he wrote his own speech:
Good morning. My name is Justice _______ and I am in Mrs. _______'s first grade class. Today I will be talking about tolerance.
Tolerance is when we accept people that are different than we are. A good way to think about tolerance is to think about food. I used to think that sushi looked really weird, but I tried it and loved it. Someone in your class may look or talk different than you but turn out to be your best friend if you just give it a try.
Thank you for listening.
As he was preparing this I was thinking about "tolerance" and really it's not such a big step is it? I tolerate other people's children, my dog peeing on the rug when she has a UTI and my cable going out in a storm... I can see tolerating other's ideas or beliefs, but if we are going to teach kids this lesson when it comes to other human beings --shouldn't we strive for acceptance?