A Letter To First-Grade Boys

Dear Sirs:

I regret to inform you that being a boy in first-grade is a miserable experience.

One must sit still, one must not talk, one must fill in reams of worksheets, one must pretend to be excited about getting a STICKER! as a reward.

It is a truth universally known that stickers are for girls.

But target practice with air-guns at recess? Now, that would be a reward.

But of course, guns are COMPLETELY unacceptable. Sirs, even your hands are offensive. You must never use your index finger and thumb, point at someone and say "bang!"

Bang, sirs, scares the girls. We must never scare the girls.

Recess, sadly, is revocable. If you do not sit still for 2 hours, you may have to sit during recess as well. Recess, dear boys, is your only reprieve. Guard it with your life. Fill in those worksheets, sit still, pretend to be excited about stickers. Recess is worth it.

Be mindful, however, that as first-grade boys you are the smallest boys on the playground. Therefore, avoid 3rd grade boys. 3rd grade boys enjoy scaring first-grade boys. If you dare report bullies to the playground monitor, she will most likely say, "Oh, it was an accident."

Yes, sirs, the injustices are many. The triumphs are few.

Your only choice is to hunker down and slog through. They may call you names like ADD or ADHD. Ignore the hecklers, sirs. They simply don't understand.

There's nothing wrong with you.

Except, of course, that you're a boy. And school is for girls.

Fret not. A few of us understand. Ever heard of Tom Sawyer? Ask your mother to read his book to you.


A Concerned Citizen