A wrist slap

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Carolyn Cary

If you’re going to be a reporter for a newspaper,whether weekly or daily, occasionally you’re going to have to endure having your wrist slapped. Not everyone is going to agree with everything you write and in those instances in which you make an honest error you need to promptly apologize.

Such was the case some time ago.

In an article on one of our schools, I inadvertently referred to it as an elementary school, when in fact, it was a middle school. Now, I was a student first in the 1930s and the school was referred to as an elementary school. There was no middle school and we went straight into high school.

A teacher at the school emailed me that the school was “disheartened” that I misidentified  its status. She further wrote “the students…were annoyed and offended to be listed in the paper as elementary students.”

I’m offended that they were offended. These are 13-year-olds who will truly be offended over matters far more important to them than this by the time they are grandparents.

Not content with pointing out my error to me, the teacher evidently mentioned to the students that they should be offended, and they too, sent emails. They contained such phrases as, “Our school barely gets recognition as it is and we, the students, do not appreciate you making a mockery of us so we would like an apology and next time look over your work please.”

Several 13 -year-olds signed “concerned student,” not realizing that their names were already spelled out at the top of the emails.

Did I apologize to the middle school students?  Certainly.

Am I concerned at what this teacher is showing students by her example and leadership? Certainly.

I can only surmise that she is also teaching them lessons that will help them through life, and not just ones that insinuate that they are to castigate everyone who they feel has insulted them.

The faith that I espouse teaches to forgive and to turn the other cheek. I have done so.