School as I remember it

Published 12:36 pm Thursday, June 29, 2017

By Sue Staton

The other day I picked up a magazine and thumbed through it to see if it was one I had read. I ran across an article about what was different in schools.

I did not get too far into the article. One thing I read made me think back, way back to my elementary school days. The writer wrote that every morning the Pledge of Allegiance was recited by the whole class and prayer was given.

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This was exactly how my school day was begun all the way into the eighth grade. I can only think how lucky I had been to have grown up at that time in the world, when our country still thought it was important to teach the children respect of the flag and, even better than that, to have the Lord’s Prayer recited daily.

Students stood with their hands over their hearts and showed respect. Back then I never really thought that much about it other than I was proud to be able to do it and felt proud when I was asked to lead the recitation. However, if anyone were to tell me that there would come a day in the United States of America the students in school would not be able to do that, I would probably thought they were crazy.

After all, only places like Russia would do something like that I am sure I would have thought. Now, that I look back, I realize that was the beginning of the downfall of our country when God was taken out of the schools. Kids have become rowdy, disrespectful and I would dare say today many of the United States’ students would not be able to properly repeat the Pledge of Allegiance or the Lord’s Prayer. The Ten Commandments were posted on the wall so every student who entered the front door of the school or waited for the school bus saw. I actually learned the Ten Commandments from looking at them daily hanging on the wall in my school.

I thought of several things we did not have back then too. We did not hear kids cursing or being disrespectful to a teacher. If a curse word was said, the principal or teacher took care of that behavior with a paddle on the student’s behind. I still think that spankings should be allowed with two other teachers as witness to the paddling.

When we went to lunch, prayer was given by either a student or the teacher. The one I remember was this one. “God is good, God is great! Let us thank Him for our food. Amen!” This created a precedent of how you were to act during the meal.

When we went out to play, a lot of times it was games we made up or the teacher actually directed the game and sometime played with us. They did not stand in a corner away from the students. They were there and they knew if attention needed to be paid to a student. They were more aware if a student was not feeling well or not being included in the play of the other students.

It is hard for me to believe that we actually got two 30-minute play breaks in our day.

We learned to communicate and learn from one another by doing this. We were healthier, I think, back then because of this, since some students would not get that exercise at home. That was not the case for me and my siblings since we had to walk close to a mile to catch our school bus twice a day and my parents seemed to think work was important for us and kept us busy at home.

When I was in school, we never got anything such as a fall break or a spring break. School began in September and lasted through the end of May for most of my school terms.

If someone had told me that at some point most kids would have their own phone to pack around with them and they would bring them to school, I would have thought they were from another planet. After all, I would think they were stupid because didn’t they know you have to have wires hooked up to your house to have a phone. Besides that, at one time there were eight people on our party line. I feel sure the mere thought of one person being able to have their own phone line would have been so ridiculous to me it would have been like a fairy tale and beyond anything my mind could have comprehended.

To be honest with you, I am still in awe of the cell phone even now and I can just imagine what my reaction would have been back then.

The clothes back then were so different. I wore a dress or a skirt and blouse nearly every day of my school years. I usually wore my clothes two days before they were put in the laundry to be washed. As soon as we got in from school, our clothes were changed and hung up and we had our everyday clothes to wear at night.

There were no extracurricular meetings for us at our home. To be honest I think kids are in to too many things outside the home. Kids and parents do not get that chance to spend time together that is needed. Parents are worn out from working and running kids back and forth. Life is so much more hectic now.

It is so amazing to me how much the school lessons have changed. It is unbelievable to me to think that cursive writing is no longer being taught. I feel it needs to be put back into the schools sooner rather than later. I feel the Pledge of Allegiance still needs to be recited every day in every classroom in the United States of America. I want the Ten Commandments back where students can see it.

I feel truly blessed to have gone through school at the time I did. I wish my grandchildren had that same feeling of safety at school that I had. Unfortunately our world has changed and I am saddened. Communicating with your child is so important in their life. I hope this column will at least let people stop and think about what is important in life. I hope that families will make it a priority to share meals together and actually communicate with one another.