Boomer’s dad taught him to box, but at my school, we learned it in gym class. When somebody knows how to defend themselves, the whole bullying rush pretty much vanishes.
The brilliant thing was we also took square dancing classes. This meant someone who was a good fighter might be a poor dancer, or a poor fighter might be fearless approaching girls. The upshot of this was we recognized that in different situations, different types of people do well.
The net effect was to bond us as a group. So the top 4th grader fighter might defend you from a sixth grader. Or when the kickball captain couldn’t finish his reading assignment, the good readers would help him. Or the girl who was always afraid of oral reports had the whole class saying “you can do it!” and nobody mocked her when she started to cry.
This could never happen today, for a lot of different reasons. But there was something in those extinct educational approaches that went far beyond reading, ‘riting, and ‘rithmetic.
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