A Sydney, Australia elementary school has banned clapping and replaced it with “silent cheering” in an effort to be considerate of students who are sensitive to noise.
According to local reports, Australian schools have had a recent streak of implementing overly-sensitive bans in the names of political correctness and respect.
Elanora Heights Public School released a newsletter that explains the ideology behind their new policy:
“If you’ve been to a school assembly recently, you may have noticed our students doing silent cheers,” the item reads. “Instead of clapping, the students are free to punch the air, pull excited faces and wriggle about on the spot. The practice has been adopted to respect members of our school community who are sensitive to noise. When you attend an assembly, teachers will prompt the audience to conduct a silent cheer if it is needed. Teachers have also found the silent cheers to be a great way to expend children’s energy and reduce fidgeting.”
So, not only are students restricted in how they express their excitement, but they are also only allowed to do so when instructed by a teacher.
While it is important that all students feel comfortable and safe, banning noise from an elementary school is just absurd, especially in an assembly.
Clapping is a universal form of expression, but silent cheering and wriggling around in your seat are not quite as common.
Imagine attending a professional sporting event where everyone is silently punching the air and making excited faces without any cheers or applause. That scenario would not only be bizarre, but it would take the excitement out of the event.
Christmas carols and reciting the word “black” in the nursery rhyme, “baa baa black sheep” are reportedly among other ridiculous bans in Australian schools.
Several other elementary schools have also prohibited hugging. Students are instructed to give high-fives or “knuckle handshakes” to show affection instead.
“… In this current day and age we are really conscious about protecting kids and teaching them from a young age that you have to be cautious,” said St. Patricks Primary school principal John Grant.
There is nothing wrong with being cautious, but at what point do we decide that political correctness has gone too far? It has come to the point that it is literally muting our youth.
Banner Photo Credit: Flickr user Eric Rice