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Editorial: Is the threat Hangman or society’s lack of common sense?
About politics and other thingsMay 28, 2014 | 2,523 views | 4 comments
Distant memories of a childhood game called Hangman were brought to the forefront after reading about a student in Beaverton, Ore., who was suspended from school and reported to police for doodling a little stick figure.
It was nothing more than the stick figure that is drawn when playing the Hangman word game. With every incorrect guess of a letter, another straight line is drawn, one at a time, until the stick figure is completed. A vertical line with one line out to the side represents the “gallows.”
We used to while away the hours (that was before electronic devices absorbed all the hours that could be whiled away) with such dangerous pastimes as playing Hangman. We also played jacks (using six-pronged pointed metal objects), marbles (dangerous round glass objects that could easily be swallowed), spinning tops (wicked wooden spindles with sharp metal projectiles on the bottom), and other such reckless games.
Having survived these dangerous activities probably made us stronger. We even used “real” gunpowder on rolls of paper in our very real-looking metal cap pistols. Hangman was just one of the questionable games we played.
I remember playing Hangman at school or on the bus. Teachers have even been known to use it as a teaching tool for spelling.
All you needed to play was a pencil, a piece of paper, and an imagination. The game would start when one player would think of a word or phrase, and the other would try to guess the letters. As each incorrect letter was guessed, the other person would add a line, and pretty soon, if you didn’t guess correctly, you would have this cute little stick figure.
You know, for as “dangerous” as this game supposedly was, no one was ever killed or even injured. No one actually was hung. It was just a stick figure, for Pete’s sake. There was no thought of relating this stick figure to a real person -- or, as described on grandparents.com, an otherwise great website -- a “victim.”
Comparing Hangman to the standard TV fare or the myriad violent video games that kids obsessively play, it is innocent and bloodless. Why is it that video games are OK, but drawing a stick figure or eating your Pop Tart into the shape of a gun gets a kid kicked out of school, and possibly messes up his record for life?
It’s an upside-down society when nothing is done about the most violent TV shows and movies that draw kids by the thousands, but the police are called to question a kid who doodles a stick figure on a hangman’s noose.
Apparently, some authorities have a problem distinguishing between harmless imaginary fun and the real threat.
Some people in our society are actually so frightened of guns that any thought of a weapon is a punishable offense.
So parents, teach your kids that they are not to say anything if, for instance, they see the shape of a gun in the clouds, lest they could be suspended from school. Yes, according to KKTV.com in Colorado, second-graders were assigned to look at the clouds and draw what they saw.
Eight-year-old Kody Smith saw the shape of a gun in the clouds. As per the assignment, he drew the picture, and was summarily written up for “bad behavior.” His parents are fighting the case.
Something is definitely wrong with this picture. There is a severe lack of common sense in certain segments of society.
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GRAND PRAIRIE TX
June 3, 2014 4:28am
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