Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Jelly Jelly

Remember jelly bracelets? Ah, the innocent days of childhood.

Right?

Our seventh graders - especially the boys - recently began wearing jelly bracelets, 3 or 4 or 9 at a time, in all colors, around their wrists, twisted around their fingers, linked to form more elaborate ornaments.* We noted it, and decided to ignore it as long as they didn't play with them during class or get into arguments over the bracelets. Kids' fashion (all fashion, really) is so... random.

Today at lunch, one of my colleagues saw a little piece of paper being passed furtively around the seventh grade table, creating a mini-uproar everywhere it went. Naturally, she confiscated it. Oh my god.

Several of us discussed it at lunch, and decided that the thing to do would be to silently but carefully observe for a day and make notes on which kids were wearing them. Then, we would pull those kids aside, find out what the bracelets meant for them - curiosity? (probably) actual activity? (I doubt it) a titillating joke? (oh yeah) - and then call their parents to make sure they are aware of their babies' newfound obsession with all things explicit. And then we would take all the bracelets and let the kids know they were banned from that point on.

The rationale behind this was that just banning the bracelets, or punishing the kids, would simply make everything to do with sex more taboo. We live in a sex-saturated environment, and that twelve and thirteen-year-olds even know what these words mean is a shock to me (although I imagine some of the kids giggled at the little color coding chart without having the slightest idea what most of it meant). Of course children are curious about sex: they see and hear about it everywhere! We thought the bracelets could become an impetus to a discussion of what is and is not appropriate at their age (and the phone calls to parents would ensure that much of this discussion would happen at home, according to each family's values and standards). At the same time, we would address the issue ONLY with the children who were involved, rather than drawing the entire school's attention to the bracelet scandal.

Anyway, my principal found out about the real meaning of the bracelets one period later, and banned them immediately, and hollered at the kids. So much for that.

Oh - one more thing. The website for these bracelets stresses repeatedly that all rumors about middle school children wearing jelly bracelets as sex bracelets is a myth - guess not.

*Stupid pun: If silver and gold jewelry is "bling-bling," what do hip-hop fans call jelly jewelry? Boing boing?

2 Comments:

Blogger bala said...

I remember when I saw It. It was so cool and interesting , I used to watch it with my grangfather and with my dog called sildenafil. Great blog, congratulations.

2:40 PM  
Blogger Anna said...

Our teachers would not doubt what to do unfortunately

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11:26 AM  

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