A kid I know who was struggling in math last year got to spend a week in school watching movies. His class was putting on a play and finished learning their lines ahead of time. So during the period when they were supposed to be rehearsing (which was in lieu of math class), they watched movies instead. His math didn’t improve, but he could totally be a future film critic.
It made me scratch my head, wondering how his teacher could have been so misguided about academic priorities.
Same could be said about a school in Leeds, England, which is facing criticism for offering makeup lessons to 14- and 15-year-old students, according to Jezebel. Like the teacher of the kid who’s math-impaired but a film savant, did Mount St. Mary’s Catholic High School also run out of things to teach?
I don’t discount that looking good can help you feel good. But I also think being smart can help you feel good. And generally we send kids to school to help them learn and be smart (and, you know, because it’s the law).
Mount St. Mary’s is defending the makeup lessons, saying the purpose is to “teach children how to make a good first impression and also boost their self-confidence.”
First shouldn’t we teach our teens to shower regularly? And not wear the same underwear for days in a row? Do they really need makeup lessons? How about teaching them they’re beautiful without makeup. They will be plenty of time for makeup later in life. Why start now, and in school?
The school’s deputy head teacher said:
I’m a maths teacher and wouldn’t expect a child to be able to solve an algebraic equation without being taught first how to do it. It’s so that they’re wearing appropriate make-up instead of three-inch thick foundation. We’ve had no negative feedback and students had to have permission to stay behind, so we have to assume parents are supportive.
Sure, plenty of teens already wear makeup. But isn’t it best left to parents to decide when it’s OK to wear it, and how much, if any, is appropriate? And if it’s a problem, like, say, if a kid is wearing too much or not enough (whatever that means for a 14-year-old) and a parent isn’t intervening, can’t a school counselor have a private discussion with the kid at that point?
If my kids’ school were teaching them to put on makeup, I would rethink where I might want to send my kids to school.
Do you think makeup lessons belong in school?