Go into any school in the country and you will find some basic things that never change: desks, lots of books, teachers, and bullies are all in abundance along with cell phones, smart boards, iPads, and websites for homework assignments and online communications.
But today’s Millennials and next generation parents missed out on some amazing experiences most schools have ditched in the name of educational progress. Here’s 20 things they never got to do that were normal for the rest of us (those 80’s kids!)
Valentine’s Day Cards
Remember the elation at getting a valentine’s day card from that girl or boy you had no idea had a crush on you? As well as the horrible feeling of not getting one at all? Some schools have banned this holiday all together or put all or nothing policies in place; either bring in something for everybody in your class or bring in nothing. Hurt feelings are a thing of the past now…
Let Older Kids Supervise Younger Ones
Wasn’t long ago when bigger kids in higher grades were given the honor of being responsible for smaller, younger kids with critical tasks like holding your hand out and stopping traffic so kids can cross the street. As a school patrol I also got to go on a class trip to Washington D.C. as a reward for service well done. Today’s kids can’t, and won’t ever be trusted again, to do anything like stopping cars in parking lots at recess.
Could be a punishment, or it could have been a reward for good behavior, many of us remember clapping erasers together to fill the air with chalk dust and get everybody coughing and sneezing! Great fun. Blackboards are now white, dry-erase boards and teachers use smartboards, not erasers.
Make Ashtrays in Art Class
Never had to worry what to get Mom or Dad for their special day. A handmade ashtray from art class was always the perfect gift! Nobody is making these in art class anymore. Smoking is banned in all schools now and in most schools you can’t even smoke near the school.
Shop for Boys and Home Ec for Girls
Gender specific classes are not even whispered these days. There’s no more Shop class for boys, or Home-Ec for girls – that was so discriminating and racist and smacked of genderism and was just plain wrong. We’ll skip the whole “I want to go to any bathroom I identify with, gender-wise” too while we’re at it.
Whole generations will never get to enjoy the thrill and athletic spectacle that is – Dodgeball. Ignore the smiles on those kids faces; dodgeball was too brutal, it made kids pick sides which is too emotionally painful, and we didn’t wear face masks or bicycle helmets so somebody could have gotten hurt! We still remember the five D’s of dodgeball though – Dodge, Dip, Dive, Duck, and Dodge, or you get a wrench to the head.
Play Make Believe War Games
Remember playing cowboys and Indians on the playground? How about cops and robbers? You won’t find these or any other games where kids pretend to shoot each other with their fingers, or run around making whooping sounds that resemble names of professional sports teams that are so ethnically and racially offensive. Zero tolerance weapons and violence policies make any of these games a matter of suspension but schools will not hesitate to get law enforcement involved these days and that never ends well.
Ride Home With Your Friend’s Mom
Remember when your friend could plan on hanging out after school so you just went home with their Mom at the end of the day? Most schools have implemented policies “safe routes” that dictate kids can only be picked up from school by a parent or other pre-approved guardian/caretaker. And custody battles have forced schools to restrict even family member’s from picking up kid’s if they are not pre-authorized.
Bring Treats for Birthdays
Thanks to hypersensitive kids with allergies and a booming obesity rate, baking for your kids or giving them treats to bring to school isn’t done anymore. Most have banned it altogether but some will allow only non-allergenic and/or healthy snacks and treats. Cupcakes!!?? No way…
Walk or Ride Your Bike to School
Remember when walking to school was fun? How about the joy of skipping the line for the bus and instead, jumping on your bike to ride home after a hard day of classes and recess? These days’ parents can be charged with unsubstantiated neglect for letting their kids walk home from a park so very few kids walk or ride bikes to school anymore. Which is a shame, it’s what sidewalks were invented for, right??