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CLASSROOMS: The Benefits Of Teasing

07teasing500Schools have banned teasing?  Really?

"Today teasing has been all but banished from the lives of many children," according to this recent New York Times article (In Defense of Teasing).  "Accused teasers are now made to utter their teases in front of the class, under the stern eye of teachers. Children are given detention for sarcastic comments on the playground. Schools are decreed “teasing free.”

"The reason teasing is viewed as inherently damaging is that it is too often confused with bullying. But bullying is something different; it’s aggression, pure and simple. Bullies steal, punch, kick, harass and humiliate...By contrast, teasing is a mode of play, no doubt with a sharp edge, in which we provoke to negotiate life’s ambiguities and conflicts. And it is essential to making us fully human...In rejecting teasing, we may be losing something vital and necessary to our identity as the most playful of species."

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