Why kids need to learn that ‘you can’t always get what you want’
There are two lessons we teach our kids and there's something to be said for both. One is that they should fight for what they believe. The other is that that they can't always get what they want. It's a delicate dance between both.
You know the serenity prayer that says "accept the things you cannnot change?" This generation has very little serenity because they learned the first lesson very well, but the second? Not so much.
A few weeks ago, we talked about Sydney Philips, a seventh grade student at St. Theresa's in Kenilworth. Her family sued after her school wouldn't allow her to play for its boys basketball team. The family lost the case but is appealing, and she and her sister have been asked to leave the school. I don't blame St. Theresa's for being less than welcoming to the Philips family by now.
In the first place, I believe that if the school doesn't have a girls' basketball team, Sydney and her family should have gotten over it. They should've made their decision to either stay in the school without Sydney playing, or move to a school with the programs they wanted or needed for their kid.
Well, now the decision has been made for them. Even if you disagree and think that they were correct in suing the school, when the court decided and the case was lost they should've accepted that decision. That would've taught both lessons: Fight hard, accept defeat gracefully.
But they didn't.
They appealed the decision and now apparently the school is tired of dealing with the nonsense. After all, this is a private parochial school, so a family has much less leverage when it's not public tax dollars paying for it.
When my very exclusive private high school couldn't accommodate my religious needs, they asked me to leave or give up my practices. They had rules (namely not taking as many days off as my religious practices required me to) and if I couldn't adhere to them, I was out. And so out I was.
We didn't think of suing. I simply traipsed off to the local public school where they tended to be more accommodating to my needs.
If the Philips case had been successful, it could've opened up a new can of worms. What if families just sued schools to force them to create other programs and accommodations they wanted. Families do this already with special needs programs, funding private car transportation, special rooms built for kids, all day one-on-one supervision and the like.
You could argue these are pushing our educational costs higher and higher for everyone, but you could also argue that those are justified. This case is not. I'll grant that this case is different because it is a private school, but the fact remains: we can't ask schools to accommodate EVERY SINGLE need/whim that our kids have.
St. Theresa's and the court agreed. And if the family can't accept that, it may be time to part ways graciously.
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