“10 Reiche Community School Teachers are planning a “Jump for Courage” polar plunge on Sunday, January 31 at 11:00 am at East End Beach. They will be running into frigid Casco Bay to demonstrate to students that you can do difficult things even when you are afraid,” said the most recent press release from the Portland Public School’s Superintendent Office.
The “Jump for Courage” was delayed from yesterday Saturday, January 30 because of “frigid” temperatures expected for the day. Just before noon today, the temperature in downtown Portland was 19 degrees. This blogger is so relieved at the warmer temperatures today!
Where to begin on this?!
Never having been an educator, this blogger consulted a close family member who taught children for almost forty (40) years in upper New York State. A region not known for its warm winter weather. He responded that the risk of encouraging children to copy these teachers behavior is “irresponsible.” There is already enough risk taking without setting an example for students to do the same. For example, there are plenty of people who still refuse to wear face coverings or take other precautions to avoid the spread of the COVID-19. There are plenty of people around who put themselves at risk by refusing to get vaccinated for the virus – does that take courage? Will this example encourage children to emulate risky behavior asked my brother? And best of all to be rewarded with “books” for the risky behavior?
“This is not the best year for such an event, probably. Health and safety are big issues. It’s a little risky for teachers to be setting this example,” said Justin Hendrickson, a Portland father of two young children who attend Ocean Avenue Elementary School.
Surely there is a better way to encourage courage for Portland students. If not, who is supervising these teachers?