Standing on the Line

There’s always that fine line. The line between healthy and fat. Between appropriate and not. Between right and wrong. Sometimes that line is thicker with some occasions than others.

Sometimes that line just barely ceases to exist. And sometimes, that line gets demolished while trying to help the greater good of our youth. Our line was the line between touching, and rough-housing. There were the good touches: the high-fives, and pat on the backs and hugs. Then there was the bad touching: the punching and kicking and fighting. And right in between the both stood that white line that separated right from wrong.

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As of recently, our chance as youth to find that line and learn for ourselves to stay on the “good” side has been annihilated by this new policy that announced there will be no touching at all to be allowed in the school building. The school board’s reasoning would be this: no one can get hurt if no one is allowed to touch one another. As teenagers, we’re going to get hurt one way or another, it’s practically in our DNA, and to go as far as banning all physical contact is obscured. No matter how hard anyone tries, the world is not going to be a safe place. Parents and teachers are not always going be around to make sure we tie our shoelaces and don’t trip.

So what are they going to do about it? They can’t go and get a law past banning all shoe laces so no child will get injured. And even if they do, there’s no way they’re going to be able to ban all the other umpteen ways to injure yourself on Earth. One upset mother proclaims, “What happened here seems to be the knee-jerk response to any problem these days: Overkill, just like when schools ban tag because a kid could trip, or cupcakes, because a kid could get fat.” That is exactly what is happening. If school administers are worried about our safety, that’s great, thank you for your concern, but instead of prohibiting us from making contact with one another, they should be getting rid of the problem, not the object as a whole.

I say this because it is not “touching” that is hurting people. It is kicking and horse-playing. So get rid of that. Get rid of the violence in it, not the affection. Because in a world where self esteem is low, sometimes all we need is a hug or a pat on the back to know we’re doing the right thing.

Let us scope out the line. Let us find the line. Let us cross the line. And let us have to face the consequences of our actions, just don’t take away our line.