Thin Skin in the Game

By Bill Maher

Are we teaching our kids they are all precious little snowflakes who should never ever have their feelings hurt and who should constantly be on guard not to hurt anyone else’s feelings? The watchword in our public schools and on our campuses these days seems to be, “For god sake watch what you say.  Someone else might hear it.”

The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association, which oversees that state’s high school sports, has sent out an email instructing schools to crack down on “chants by student sections directed at opponents and/or opponents’ supporters that are clearly intended to taunt or disrespect.”

You know how, when a basketball player shoots and misses the rim and the opposing fans all chant, “Air ball!”? Well, they can’t do that anymore. The player who missed the shot feels bad enough. There’s no need to stigmatize him further by pointing it out. What about his self esteem?

According to the Post-Crescent, the email says “Among the chants… student groups, school administrators and event managers should take immediate steps to correct… are: ‘You can’t do that,’ ‘Fundamentals,’ ‘Air ball,’ ‘There’s a net there,’ ‘Sieve,’ ‘We can’t hear you,’ The ‘scoreboard’ cheer, and ‘Season’s over…’”

Mutual respect, inclusivity, empathy – these are all things our children should learn. But there’s also something to be said for learning to develop thick skin.