[OPINION] Some Kids Need Lessons In Kindness

An alert “06880” reader — and disappointed middle school parent — writes:

I am grateful every day to raise my children in our wonderful town. They go to public schools staffed by caring, enthusiastic teachers.

Yet something happened this past Saturday at Bedford Middle School that made me ask myself, “What can we do to make our town even better?” I’m asking “06880” readers that question too.

During the 7 p.m. performance of “Alice in Wonderland,” several 6th grade students in the audience heckled the actors. They gave them the L “loser” sign, the middle finger, and booed.

Several actors were in tears. One would not get back on stage. Another missed his lines.

I hope the heckling students get more than a central detention. I would like to see them get a lesson in kindness, and make amends.

As with other school performances in town, the students and teachers of BMS spent months working on and rehearsing “Alice in Wonderland.” Teachers Karen McCormick and Lynne Karmen, assistant stage director Ryan Smith and parent volunteers spent days, nights and weekends coordinating the many aspects of the show: teaching students the fine points of acting, creating  and setting the stage.

In addition, 8th grade actors and stage crew dedicated up to 60 hours of their time, helping younger students learn about lighting and sound, memorize lines and gather the courage to get on stage.

They deserved applause and support, not heckling.

Bedford Middle School used 8 Alices, to include as many 6th graders as possible in the show. (Photo/January Stewart)

I hope there will be a truly sincere apology directed to the actors and teachers. Each heckler could write a letter to an actor, and read it on stage as actors and teachers sit in the seats.

Or perhaps those apology letters could be printed out and posted on the auditorium doors.

Hecklers could also pick up trash for a few days in the school cafeteria after lunch, or after the next school performance.

No one is looking for harsh punishment for those hecklers. Kids make mistakes. We all make mistakes.

We as a community need to build up our children when they make mistakes, not break them down. We as a community need to help each other find solutions that help our youth adopt kinder behavior, make proper amends and learn from their mistakes.

To BMS actors: You had the courage to be on stage. You did a great job at the show. Don’t let detractors get you down. We hope to see you at the next performances!

To BMS teachers, parent volunteers and 7th and 8th grade volunteers: Thank you for giving our 6th graders a chance to grow and shine, each in their own way. Thank you for your dedication!

To Westport: What can we do better to teach our kids and our friends to be kinder to one another?

Any suggestions?

55 responses to “[OPINION] Some Kids Need Lessons In Kindness

  1. Daniel Katz

    This “disappointed” parent was not disappointed enough to give a name?

    • This “disappointed” parent did not want his or her child to be singled out. I agreed to the parent’s request for anonymity. I’m not sure that should be the major issue here.

  2. Adam Vengrow

    If it was my kid that did that, he wouldnt see a friend for a month, touch an electronic device for eternity, at a minimum. Why go soft on them, parents stand up and then throw in some community service as an extra.

    • I agree with Adam and I agree with Dan not publishing the parents name. Children who love the arts are no different that children who love sports, or technology, or animals, or .. whatever! As parents we should teach our children to celebrate each other, not shame. Breaks my heart to hear this, especially in a Town that is rooted in the arts and as a mom with one child who loves theater arts and another child who loves sports.

  3. Daniel Craig

    Kids are kids. Bullying is part of life and happens throughout life. Kids are clay and don’t know any different… have to look at the parents of this group .. raised right or raised wrong. As I drive through this fine town it’s easy to see both. Sadly the latter is predominant.

    • John F. Suggs

      No Mr. Craig, Kids are not “clay and don’t know any different.” They are human beings and they know when they are being loving and when they are being cruel. This story truly saddens me. In no small part because these very same 8th Graders were 6th Graders in that exact same auditorium just two years ago when their older brothers and sisters and their upper classmates cheered wildly for Jaime Mann who had the courage to get up and perform a ballet dance from Billy Elliot. I still remember how moved we all were that night – not only by Jaime’s dance but by the overwhelming love and affection that his classmates showered on him. Dan you even blogged about it here: https://06880danwoog.com/2016/02/29/josh-jamie-billy-elliot-and-bedford/ What happened this week on that same stage is deeply regretable and needs to be turned into a “teaching moment” for all involved.

      • Melissa Shein

        I agree with your comments and I’d like to point out one big difference that was noted in the Billy Elliot 06880 article in the comments by John Dodig. The students use to be fully involved in a program called K2BK and that program is not being run the way it was just a few short years ago. We can teach and model kindness. Maybe we need to think about bringing K2BK back in it’s original form.

  4. September Stevens

    Perfectly written and thank you Dan Woog for allowing them a platform to share. When things like this happen in our town we should all be alerted as it is our communal responsibility to be examples of kindness and support as we move through our days. We are their examples. I agree with everything the reader had to say. Wouldn’t it be great if the punishment was some sort of compulsory participation in the 7/8th grade musical this fall? Perhaps in tech which can be even more grueling with less appreciation. Or do community service at the middle school in bridgeport where our sets to go when BMS finishes shows? What Karen, Lynn and Ryan do at BMS with parent volunteers as their counterparts at CMS is remarkable. I hope there’s a way to teach the kids a lesson that shows them what their missing out on as well.

  5. Eva Lopez Reyman

    It would be a lesson for them to publish its names and to do works for the community.

  6. Richard Fogel

    start be electing kind leaders,the president encourages the worst behavior,during school soccer games with minority teams fans began chanting build the wall. It starts from the greatest microphone and is picked up and received by adults and children. If you voted for Trump and friends the country deserves what they get. Vote the bums out

    • Bob Stalling

      Right, because bullying and chanting never existed before Trump was in office…

      • Richard Fogel

        guns existing in 1910. We did not have that many mass murders and serial killings.The vicious rhetoric of Trump and the blessings of our citzens in accepting it is shameful. Bullying exists today and yesterday.. The decimel meter is off the charts with Trump. You can speed at 60 miles an hour. Spedding at 100 miles an hour is not the same. The defense of this monsters behavior is readily on display before your eyes.

        • Bob Stalling

          Right…. because we didn’t have mass murders or serial killings before Trump.
          I have no doubt you will now show the data to back that up.
          Thanks.

      • Richard Fogel

        contact or write the ADL on anti semitic incidents since Trump has been running and now president. Google it. Google the sale of guns since Trump has been running and now president. Speak to educators and ask them if they see an increase in bullying since Trump has entered the arena. Yes bullying and bad behavior existed prior. However the ferociousness and frequency of his nasty comments and calling people looser ,Pocahontas, Mexicans are rapists,banning Muslims is more or less unprecedented. He calls Obama and Hiliary Clinton crooked. He calls the news media fake news. He advocated sexual abuse and told a younger man Billy Bush to grab piussy if your rich and famous. During a high school fottball game in tghe area kids screamed build a wall to the disgust of minority students. The world that Trump is trying to build is a world of white supremacy and to the elite and rich. America is getting dumber and dumber. Enjoy it. Today in a press conferemnce with Lithuanian leaders,Trump called the American media fake news. His vulgar and lewd speech encourages bad behavior.

        • Bob Stalling

          Richard, your “feelings” about Trump and an increase in bullying don’t seem to match the statistics…

          “More than one out of every five (20.8%) students report being bullied (National Center for Educational Statistics, 2016).
          The federal government began collecting data on school bullying in 2005, when the prevalence of bullying was around 28 percent (U.S. Department of Education, 2015).”

          http://www.pacer.org/bullying/resources/stats.asp

          I also “googled” Trump and the sale of guns, and again, found the statistics don’t match your “feelings”…

          “American Outdoor Brands Corp, maker of Smith & Wesson firearms, has said demand is falling to “new, lower levels,” after years of increasing sales under President Barack Obama, Bloomberg reported.”

          https://sports.yahoo.com/trump-gun-slump-sales-plummet-142835293.html

          I’m hoping you can provide the statistics for your “feelings” about an increase in mass murders and serial killings under Trump…that should be easy to find…

          Thanks.

          • Richard Fogel

            hi Bob, Regarding gun sales I stand corrected. My concern is that Trump has not done enough to tighten gun laws. I am especially concerned about the gun show loophole where anyone can easily purchase an assault rifle. You did not not mention the ADL,stands for Anti Defamation League. Google trump and the ADL. Remember the incident in Charlottsville where white supremacists marched and Trump said there is good and bad on both sides. Regarding school bullying .NYC schools report a 10 per cent increase in bullying. Bullying is not new. It is a response for a child crying out for help due to issues at home. However when a group of students at a football gamed and or a school play act in unison of unacceptable social behavior it is not an individual issue. Trumps rhetoric,name calling,insults,lies,are om full display. Is it possible that children see it? Is it likely that the presidents name calling and insulting comments are encouraging children to conclude its acceptable behavior? Is it possible to conclude that it is encouraging children to act out? Where did the students learn to shout build that wall at a soccer game? From Hiliary? From Obama? From their teachers? or maybe from the president and his rallies. In what world is it right for an American President or campaign to announce at a rally to punch that man in the nose and I will pay your legal fees? People who voted for this man are responsible for the affects of his leadership. In what world does an American leader call Mexicans rapist and drug dealers? This behavior is being copied . The children see it. They took cigarette commercials off tv. Since the rhetoric and bullying by Trump are a new issue studies are not yet available. The iceberg is in front of you. Call it out. You wouild not allow your child to speak as the president does. You would correct your child. your child is seeing and learning and imitating what they see and hear.

            • Bob Stalling

              Hi Richard,
              When you find some actual evidence that the heckling of some actors in a 6th grade Alice in Wonderland play is Trumps fault….let me know.

              • Richard Fogel

                hi ,where did the students at a high school learn to shout, Build a Wall?/ That is my evidence.

                • Richard Fogel

                  how many times has Trump publicly called people loosers??? Sound familiar? That is also evidence. People continue to turn their backs and refuse to call out what is obvious. What is your evidence of the problem???

                  • Bob Stalling

                    Joe Biden once asked a disabled man in a wheelchair to stand up….that means that anyone who says something stupid was obviously influenced to do so by Joe Biden…correct?
                    Hillary Clinton called half the people in the country deplorable….that means
                    anyone who calls another person deplorable, is doing so as influenced by Hillary Clinton…right?
                    Barack Obama accused the police of acting stupidly for doing their job. Using your logic, anyone who calls a cop stupid, is doing so as a direct result of Barack Obamas behavior..
                    Dick Durbin compared our U.S. Troops U.S. to Nazis, Soviets in their Gulags and Pol Pot….so according to you, anyone who disparages our troops is only doing so because of Dick Durbin’s comments…
                    Barack Obama once told a crowd of supporter…. “I want you to argue with them, get in their face”…which, according to you, means every time we see an angry mob, it can be directly linked to Barack Obama…

                    You got me Richard.

              • Never going to happen.

  7. Stephanie Bass

    Were these kids by themselves w/o parents? After the 1st heckling remark, why didn’t any grown up hearing them escort them out of the audience?

    And Mr. Fogel, children learn how to behave from what they hear at the dinner table and these kids were formed way before that jerk arrivd a the White House. Stay on topic for best results.

  8. This is outrageous! I was in tears reading it, even though my kids are way beyond Middle School. What has happened to this community? After all their hard work, the performers, teachers and crew deserve thunderous applause, not the treatment they received. Obviously, the spoiled brats who ruined the show have not been taught good manners by their parents. The kids snd parents should be brought in for a program about kindness, and the kids should receive some sort of punishment as September Stevens, above, described.

  9. Richard Fogel

    Correct. I agree with you. What is different now is that bad behavior is on full display. Many families do not have dinner tables. They eat alone. There is a lack of communication. The children in some cases are raised by nannies and caregivers. The children need attention and love. However we have eentered a new era. Think of the school play as a Trump rally,a Moore rally,a republican r=extremist rally. The kids see their [parents behave and imitate it. Yes the kids learn from their parents. The kids see newspapers. The heard the president say grab a P. The kids know the president has porn actress relationships. This is what we voted for. It is why I say we get what we deserve. Our republican government has no backbone. They have no decency. They allow this behavior to occur. It is the parents void of values and decency that elected a monster. Good luck,watch out

    • Bob Stalling

      Richard, please leave Bill Clinton out of this…
      On another note, I would just like to say the “old adage” – Sticks and Stones can break my bones, but name can never hurt me – came about during the Trump Presidency sometime before 1862 when it was first put to print.

  10. Midge Deverin

    This is so dis-heartening to me especially at a time when we see so many students come together in the name of fighting gun violence…but also in camaraderie, in unity, in speaking against bullying. And, regarding many comments above: WHERE ARE THE ADULTS IN THE ROOM???

  11. Jill Greenberg

    When I was just their age, a group of friends went to see the school play. They thought it would be fun/funny to distract and taunt their “friends” on stage. So they sat in the front row and behaved badly. I decided to sit in the back row, because I thought they were horrible. So this is most likely not Trump-related behavior, this is kids pushing boundaries, establishing territory, and voicing some type of power. What to do when kids act like kids? Adults should act like adults. We are their guides, nurturing the behavior and values we hope will stick.
    Where were the adults in the room? Too late now. Causing these foolish young teens embarrassment is not likely to teach them the lessons about love kindness, acceptance, appreciation, respect, whatever. So, my suggestion would be to have the principal talk to all the students, challenge them to consider what kind of school and community they want, and encourage them stand up for good and against negative behaviors. I suggest the principal meet with the kids who were involved in heckling along with their parents and together develop a just, productive response that repairs the initial harm done while teaching something about empathy, peer pressure, and stopping peers from making bad choices (I assume a few kids or one leader nudged friends to heckle, as was the case with my own experience). AND I suggest the principal work to empower the adults in the room to be the guides they are supposed to be, because by sitting by the adults in the room condoned the behavior, giving those hecklers more power and basically told the kids on stage there was no net.

  12. I understand and sympathise with the desire both to punish miscreants and teach a lesson or two. But the mixed messages and intellectual inconsistencies here sure are interesting.

    The letter writer says “No one is looking for hard punishment” while advocating that the offending kids be obliged to write “truly sincere” apologies, which can be posted on the auditorium doors, and that the hecklers be put on stage to read their forced apologies to actors and teachers in the audience. Setting aside the question of how a forced apology can be “truly sincere,” how is this anything other than a “hard punishment?” The writer says “we need to build up our children…not break them down” but that writer would compel the offenders into public self-abasement and public atonement for their sins: putting them in the twenty-first century equivalent of the town stocks. This sort of forced public confession and apology has an fetid pedigree in totalitarianism. And whatever it might gain in apparent compliance, it might also stoke in resentment and anger.

    When and why and how did “public service” become a punishment? As a child and as an adult, I thought and think public service is something one does for his fellow man, to better his community. We pick up trash to improve the landscape. We clean parks and roads because it is helpful and considerate and “the right thing to do.” We ought not do it as compulsory penance for our sins. Equating “community service” with punishment sends a dreadful message about the meaning of community service, converting what should be our better instincts into a burden and a sentence imposed by government.

    By what logic is “compulsory participation” in a musical an appropriate form of punishment or penance? The hecklers have shown a lack of respect for the work of their fellow students, and the treatment for that lack of respect is to force them to participate in something for which they have shown contempt? And what messages does that send the theatre kids, when the authorities say “these kids who abused you are now going to be part of your next year’s play?” This seems like punishing the victim as much as the offender.

    How is President Trump responsible for the poor manners of middle school children anywhere, let alone in a town where their elders voted 69% for Clinton to a mere 27% for Trump?

    If parents are not teaching their kids to behave (and many, sadly, are not), I’m not sure the schools are equipped to do it, and I’m not sure it’s their job. If students can’t behave in the school auditorium, perhaps the guilty individuals should be punished by the traditional authorities with the traditional tools: reprimands, detention, a blot on their school records. Public abnegation, punitive “community service,” or injecting unwilling kids into the joyful and committed activities of others have deleterious and foreseeable unintended consequences.

  13. The children’s role models are their parents.
    I agree there has to be consequences to bad behavior.

  14. India V Penney

    I agree with many of the comments above … WHERE WERE THE PARENTS AND TEACHERS?
    What we need to know is: did school administration make note of which kids were doing the heckling? Did they call them into the principal’s office later and explain why that was unacceptable? Did they notify the parents of those students so that the issue could be, properly, addressed at home?

    I am crestfallen that 11 and 12 year olds are not aware (or don’t care and are not afraid of repercussions) that heckling of that sort is inappropriate and appalling behavior. That they were allowed to continue it during a performance IN SCHOOL makes me disappointed in and angry with the teachers and administrators of BMS.

    Sharing our comments and concerns here is a good thing.
    But I, for one, intend to write BMS and ask for their assessment of the situation.

  15. Michele Biro Deitch

    Thank you to the writer for bringing this to the public’s attention. I don’t think this is a “kids make mistakes” sort of situation. I think it’s very unusual and extremely worrisome to see kids exhibit that level of meanness and utter disrespect toward their peers. It’s interesting that they behaved that way publicly – could they have thought this wasn’t so bad? I think suspension is not an unreasonable consequence but picking up trash as community service is a great idea and mandatory counseling would be helpful as well.

    In the big picture, I think it’s imperative that micro-communities like schools, sports teams etc. make very clear what is acceptable and what is not by our culture. Kids and adults need to get the message, in the public eye, that tolerance and respectful behavior toward others is without question, required. We need to expect a high level of behavioral expectations in our communities to aggressively resist sinking as a society to the moral low ground that leadership in Washington represents.

  16. Meredith Poster

    This was indeed a very sad and mean situation for 6th graders to have to endure from their fellow 6th grade classmates. I was at the performance when this occurred and they “hecklers” were escorted out of the auditorium, but not until after the damage had been done. Bringing back the original Kool to be Kind (K2BK) program in our schools would be optimal at this time; not just the SHS Club, which is a watered-down semi-version of the original program. It taught students, as well as adults in our community, how to be kind, how to be allies and how to handle tough situations. It had a positive impact on both the younger elementary school kids, as well as the high school kids who taught the lessons. Both my high schoolers were involved in this program and benefitted greatly from it. This is a program that desperately needs to be brought back.

  17. This is very disturbing. I think this is a matter that the school needs to get right on top of. I’m not a big punishment guy, but no question this is an educational opportunity that should not be ignored. Address it! Do something! On a behavioral level the more time that passes the less impactful the intervention will be.

  18. New Rule…. if your child misbehaves at a school event – you, as their parents (both Mom and Dad – no excuses), should be required to do a day of learning on a Saturday or a Sunday as a family. There could be counselors who would donate their time (yes they do exist) to increasing your families communication skills, your parenting skills, your childs compassion, etc. Its a top down issue. You will have a hard time curing/teaching the child if you cannot reach the parent. Parents….time to start owning the products you create. If they go off the rails by being disrespectful and rude…. YOU have to own that as well. Help them to get back on the rails. Show them it is important to behave respectfully and apologetically. If your child was the heckler….this is on YOU as well. Print the names of the families whose children CHOSE to make these mistakes. OWN YOUR CHOICES. CHANGE HOW THEY ARE MADE. Be the best example for your kids. Be a part of the Community. Be Better.

  19. I am a firm believer in making amends and “cleaning up one’s own side of the street.” Taking responsibility and apologizing. This is a teachable moment for these kids and one that will stay with them for a very long time. Maybe a lifetime?

  20. I would be very curious to hear what their parents plan to do about punishing them. I’m a firm believer that everything starts in the home and, if the parents fail to take some significant disciplinary action, I’m not confident that the kids will truly see that their behavior was appalling.

  21. Stephanie Bass

    Seriouosly? Teach the parents of these kids how to parent? I think we are getting out of control. What we can do is say to a kid, “This is not how we act in this school.” Not tell them they are bad. Not reprimand the parents. We tell the kids what we expect of them when they are at school. The school can call the parents in and say we do not tolerate this behavior here.

    As a Brownie leader and a mom, I always thought that the kids job was to push and push and push the line — mine was to say STOP, this is the line. We may not like how parents are doing their job, be we can tell any kid that this behavior is not tolerated here. It’s called civilizing them.

    NOTE: Can we make a line in the sand that all responses adhere to a maximum of 3 paragraphs rule?

  22. Carrie Burdick-Roldan

    How about community service and an essay about how they helped in the community. What has changed as a result of their service. It would be good if they could promise to do better and how they can influence their classmates in the future.

  23. Jill Johnson

    I had two kids on that stage and am also the mom of the boy who dared to don ballet shoes on that same stage several years ago, as John Suggs mentioned above. (See: https://06880danwoog.com/tag/jamie-mann/) It was a defining moment in his life, when the roars of applause turned his fear of putting himself out there like that in front of his peers into confidence and owning his passion for dance and theater from then on. That group of kids (which had no shortage of bullying behavior in the younger elementary years, by the way) was the last to go through the Kool to Be Kind program in its original, undiluted form. There is no question that K2BK ingrained empathy in these kids in a way that is hard to duplicate solely at our own dinner tables. This amazing home-grown program used high school kids as the leaders and mentors, modeling empathetic, supportive behavior to elementary school kids. Everyone benefitted. I would prioritize time for K2BK over SBAC testing prep any day.

    Alice in Wonderland was my daughter’s first experience doing a play. She came home in tears after that Saturday performance. “This isn’t a joke,” she said. “We worked really hard for months preparing for this!” I know some of the hecklers were athletes. Maybe they don’t recognize or respect the form of sweat that goes into putting on a show. Perhaps their coaches could have addressed the breech of their code of conduct, which applies on the field and off, and relegated them to the bench for the next game. Then they would get the message that even their athletic mentors respect the arts. I also don’t understand why an adult nearby didn’t reprimand these kids as soon as the behavior began. It’s too bad I was on the other side of auditorium!

    Dr. Rosen is incredibly supportive of the arts and fosters a nurturing environment at Bedford. I’m sure he was appalled by these students’ behavior—especially with his daughter on that stage! I hope the kids were held accountable and this doesn’t happen again. Let’s bring back Kool to be Kind to help ensure it doesn’t.

  24. Lydia Hechter

    For what it’s worth, my daughters are in 6th grade at CMS and they were told about this situation on Monday in school, so it appears it is being discussed throughout the middle schools, anyway.

  25. Michele Felner

    I feel truly saddened to hear this story. After working so hard for so long, these kids should have been praised, not heckled. As a parent whose young child and high school teen were lucky enough to have been involved with the K2BK program a few years ago, I strongly believe we could use a new dose of it in our town right about now!

    Not only did the program teach kids how to react to bullying, how to come to somebody’s aide when they were being targeted, but it taught kids of all ages to be more empathetic to others, and to think about the consequences of their actions — BEFORE they did something unkind.

    If hearing the words “Kool to be Kind” in the back of a child’s mind helped to stop even one instance of bullying, that’s enough for me! BRING IT BACK!

  26. Melissa Levy

    Empathy can be taught. Appreciation can as well. Both are important issues that are a part of this story that will hopefully be the lessons learned.

    As the parent of a child who was on that stage, I too was very disturbed to hear of the taunting of the 6th grade audience members towards their fellow classmates on stage. For that performance, I was sitting far across the aisle from where this was taking place, and in the moment, I knew there was commotion, but didn’t know the cause. The situation was handled appropriately by the administration, minimizing distraction from the play.

    With respect to appreciation, we are outrageously fortunate to have the talent and dedication to arts in our Westport community. I was truly blown away that this was a 6th grade production! It was spectacular and to all involved at all levels, I have tremendous appreciation for your accomplishments.

    I would like to emphasize that despite the attention that this incident is receiving, I was at every performance that weekend, and there were many, many middle school students who attended, both with adult supervision and without, and their behavior was exemplary. To those kids, I truly appreciate your embrace of your friends’ performances on stage. I hope that praise is showered on these students so that they know their good behavior isn’t considered a given.

    I empathize with the students in the play who were upset by the degrading gestures and sounds. It takes great courage to get on stage and perform, and no one should have to endure what they did. I hope they won’t let the poor behavior of a few kids diminish the beauty of what they created. Easier said than done, but I hope they will get back on stage and shine the way they did last week.

    It’s not my place to say how the students’ misbehavior should be handled. But with respect to appreciation and empathy, I believe there is tremendous opportunity here to teach both to everyone involved. We all make mistakes in life, and they provide moments to teach and learn. It’s what we do with them that counts.

  27. David J. Loffredo

    Inconveniencing the parents is the only way to get their attention – suspend the rascals and require that both parents attend a meeting at the school before they’re re-admitted.

  28. Bart Shuldman

    I was shocked and saddened to read this. Over the years in Westport schools the students have been so supportive of those in the plays. Even the parents helped build the stage decoration (yes I did that).

    My sueggstion is to have these students stand up, on the stage, and read an apology to the arudent actors. Let these students, who do a very bad thing, see what it is like to be in stage, in the limelight. Let them see how difficult it is to stand up in front of others and perform.

    It would both teach them about how the student actors have the ‘guts’ to be in stage and also how it feels to be performing in front of people. It would also allow them to apologize, which is something that seems to be missing these days. Two good lessons.

    • A good idea, but I think they should also be made aware of how hard the actors, teachers and stage crew worked to put on a show to entertain them.

      • Bart Shuldman

        Bobbie-I agree. Please add that to the meeting with all the participants in the show and the so called ‘bad’ actors. Great idea.

    • … and invite the entire student population and all of their parents and grandparents, coaches and any other key influencers for them. Own Your Behavior. Be Better. Prove It.

  29. Giyora Eiger

    Disclosure – my son participated in the play.

    While such behavior should not be accepted, we are talking about kids. Give the hecklers a reasonable punishment (though I think the fact that from now on they are known as the hecklers is more than enough), make this a teachable moment for all the kids (I believe most of our kids are smart enough to realize the wrong doing without the need for formality; the formality is more for the parents/school system to check the box), and move on.

    let’s keep things in perspective. There are ~300 6th grade students at BMS and 3-4 misbehaved. let’s not make this case a referendum on kindness and empathy in our schools/community.

  30. Of course, you are correct. But in some kind of mass hypnotic phenomenon a good number of people choose to ignore or distort these facts.

  31. Mary Ruggiero

    2 lives ago, I was a teacher in the south Bronx – first grade. When 2 kids had a “disagreement” and one ended up very upset, I emphasized how bad the one made the other feel, and then had them go out to the water fountain together and not return until the aggrieved one felt better. I tried to make it the responsibility of the aggressor to help the other recuperate. Worked almost every time, no punishment, exactly, and the aggressor held no ill will but usually developed some sort of sympathy for his/her victim.

    Not-so-random act of kindness.

  32. Richard Fogel – If I had to place a big bet – I would bet that a majority of Parent’s in this town voted for Hillary….’splain that –