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Principals Message

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Principal’s Message

Date: March 12, 2012 Author: admin Categories: Principals Message

Hello Brittan Acres Community.

Spring Equinox falls on March 20 this year, but from my perspective here at BA, involved in the lives of hundreds of children, spring has already sprung. Smiles are broad, voices are excited, students are carrying themselves with more swagger, and even before April Fools’ Day: mischief is in the air. All of this is typical and expected. In elementary schools, teachers see it every spring, and we deliberately adjust our own behaviors to compensate.

Omnipresent Electronic Media Brings New Challenges
What is new in the last several years is the increased influence of electronic media in the lives of children. Consider these recess behaviors from last week, and the children’s own explanations:

  • Two first grade boys punching at each other, after grabbing each other’s underwear waistbands and pulling them up. Their explanation? Both had watched a Cartoon Network TV episode of The Regular Show featuring a “Wedgie Ninja,” and thought this behavior would be funny. It wasn’t.
  • Three second grade boys happily karate chopping, when one gets hurt. Their explanation? Two had played an iPod Touch/iPhone app called Chop, Chop Ninja, and were pretending to fight bad guys. They thought they were having fun, until suddenly one wasn’t.
  • Two third grade girls report another is using bad language. Her explanation? She was singing a song she heard in her family’s car. (Sorry, no ninja in this explanation.)

Use Common Sense
An important ally for parents is Common Sense Media (, a non-profit organization “dedicated to improving the lives of kids and families by providing the trustworthy information, education, and independent voice they need to thrive in a world of media and technology.”

  • Common Sense Media rates The Regular Show as appropriate beginning at 14—twice the age of the first graders who watched and learned to give each other wedgies this week. Typical content noted in the review: Drinking and vomiting, racial stereotyping, and consistently going along with others’ bad ideas.
  • The app Chop, Chop Ninja gets its first appropriate rating beginning at age 10, not 7—while reviewers warn, “the frequency and intensity of the fighting is high.”
  • Common Sense Media’s webpage “Best music: Our recommendations for families” suggests many compilations that are appropriate for kids while commuting or taking road trips. I also recommend you read their online article, “Talking to Kids about Music Lyrics” before your children ask you what something they’ve heard really means.

The good news is that we are all in this together. We appreciate your support, and stand ready to assist you as needed.

Best wishes,
John Triska