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Say What?! School’s Kindergarten Play Canceled so Kids Can Get a Head Start on College Prep

crying child

Nice work, Haley Avenue Primary School.

What, were the kids already tipped off that Santa is really just Dad with a smelly beard and moth-eaten red rental suit? Did the Tooth Fairy have one too many glasses of Cabernet and forget to visit when the first molar was lost? How about the Easter Bunny? Did he leave a rotten egg in lieu of a Cadbury Creme one?

Was everything already spoiled for the kindergarten class at the Harley Avenue Primary School in Elwood, N.Y., to the extent that the kids had to be ruined just a wee bit more? Is that why administrators canceled the school’s kindergarten play?

A letter recently sent to parents by the interim principal, Ellen Best-Laimit, said there could be no play in order to ensure the kids stay “college and career” ready, according to The Washington Post.

Here’s the exact message that parent received via a letter sent home:

We hope this letter serves to help you better understand how the demands of the 21st century are changing schools, and, more specifically, to clarify, misperceptions about the Kindergarten show. It is most important to keep in mind is [sic] that this issue is not unique to Elwood. Although the movement toward more rigorous learning standards has been in the national news for more than a decade, the changing face of education is beginning to feel unsettling for some people. What and how we teach is changing to meet the demands of a changing world.

The reason for eliminating the Kindergarten show is simple. We are responsible for preparing children for college and career with valuable lifelong skills and know that we can best do that by having them become strong readers, writers, coworkers and problem solvers. Please do not fault us for making professional decisions that we know will never be able to please everyone. But know that we are making these decisions with the interests of all children in mind.

And here’s the abstract message received by the kids who don’t get to experience the joy of practicing hard, overcoming potential stage fright, working together to sing, dance, and learn lines and then feeling and seeing their hard work rewarded by applause on stage and admiration from their family, friends, and other audience-goers:

People are mean. Life sucks — quite often for no good reason. Most kids don’t learn that until much later. But you’re extra special, so you’re learning it now. Just wait until you go through puberty. Oh, and in case you haven’t heard — we’re all going to die one day, too.

An online petition, which already has north of 3,000 signatures, is arguing the play should be reinstated. In the meantime, though, to be fair, the kids are gaining an experience that will be great for college prep: How the experience of getting screwed arbitrarily and then overcoming it will make great fodder for a college-entrance essay.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

More from Meredith on Babble:

Follow Meredith on Twitter and check out her regular column on the op-ed page of The Denver Post at MeredithCarroll.com

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