Strange politics: Bans on clapping? Finally, common sense!

IT WAS the worst day of my life.

Thunderous cracks whistled past my head as I took cover from the screams puncturing the air, deafened and reduced to a dribbling pudding with bulging neck veins.

How had things turned so bad, so quickly?

One moment I was sitting at school assembly, hearing the headmaster call out my name to congratulate me for winning the school spell-a-thon (apparently kerfuffle was the deal breaker).

The next I was being sonically assaulted by 1600-odd hands crashing together and ear-piercing shrieks of adulation.

When I woke from my applause-induced catatonic stupor a month later, I was a shell of a person, enrolled in home school and determined never again to strive for anything above mediocrity.

So I was absolutely thrilled when news broke this week about a Sydney primary school banning clapping because "some members of our community ... are sensitive to noise".

Elanora Heights Public School has set the ball rolling to eradicate this insidious practice, telling students instead to "punch the air, pull excited faces and wriggle about on the spot".

Although to be perfectly honest, wriggling is another of my triggers. There is clearly still work to be done.

"When you attend an assembly, teachers will prompt the audience to conduct a silent cheer if it is needed," the school's newsletter advised.

"Teachers have also found the silent cheers to be a great way to expend children's energy and reduce fidgeting."

Why the media has baulked at this commonsense and inclusive approach to raising children, I will never understand.

Just think of all the other fantastic rules we have - there's the zero tolerance to fighting decree, for starters.

If some 1.8m tall behemoth starts belting child's face into the back of his neck and he decides to fight back, of course skinny little Bradley should be on immediate suspension.

Heck, I look back on all the welcome beatings I took with nothing but fondness.

Imagine the strength of character I would now lack had I grown up without this toothless, mangled face!

Then there was the National Health and Medical Research Council instruction in 2013 for daycare centres to ban kids from blowing out candles on birthday cakes.

Sensible! It is only by some freak accident that I made it to primary school without contracting kid spit-induced leprosy.

People bandy around the words "arbitrary" and "nanny-statism" like wrapping a child in cotton wool is a bad thing.

Well, I turned out alright.

Just ask my housemate (Mum) and best friends (16 cats, all named Precious, and my psychotherapist). -ARM NEWSDESK


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