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Classroom reflections

March 02, 2009|By CLAUD KITCHENS

The day was bright and sunny and the children seemed to be enjoying their recess outside. One fourth-grade girl, however, sensed that things were not as good as they seemed.

Taking responsibility on her young shoulders, she marched into the school office, demanding to see the principal. The school secretary, a wise and kindly lady, showed her into his office.

Before he could say anything, the young student said, "Mr. Chastain, look outside your window."

The view was that of the playground. Somewhat bewildered, he had no idea of what to look for.

She said, "Look at those two basketball courts. Boys on both of them. I think one of them should be for girls." So much for Women's Liberation.

The next day there were two new signs on the playground. One of the courts was designated for boys, the other for girls.

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Children seem to have an innate sense of fairness. The fourth-grade girl is now a neuropsychologist, helping people with brain damage get their fair share of life's rewards.

Claud Kitchens, who passed away recently, was an educator for more than 35 years, retiring in 1990 as the deputy state superintendent of the Maryland State Department of Education. Prior to that, he was the superintendent of Washington County Public Schools. The Herald-Mail will continuing printing his reflections as long as we have previously unpublished material available.

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