St Wilfrid’s Primary School in Northumberland, England has some weird rules in place in an effort to mask any differences in the students’ financial circumstances. The latest thing to go? Pencil cases. Head teacher Pauline Johnstone said that pencil cases have been banned “so there’s no comparison on the tables and children are learning”.
The school already has a uniform that includes a standard backpack to decrease comparisons between students and have cut back on “dress up” days. Another thing? They aren’t really happy about students discussing what they did over the weekend because the things that some students do (or the lack thereof) say could set them apart from each other economically.
Nobody wants students to feel bad. Bullying about economic status (or anything else) needs to be dealt with. When kids are in the real world, however, everyone isn’t going to have the same of everything. People aren’t going to stop having conversations altogether because of what they might reveal about themselves. They aren’t helping kids at all with these ridiculous rules- they’re robbing kids of important life lessons in coping.