Friday, January 26, 2007

__________ is Golden

What've you got for me, Jonny?

I think you'll like this one, Frank. It's from Rhode Island.

Ok, big man, let's hear it.

Right y'are then. It seems an elementary school there has instituted a dramatic policy for the dinner hall.

What's that? No pushing in the queue? No throwing of bread rolls? If you put a penny in someone's chocolate milk, they've got to down it?

Even more dramatic than that:

A Roman Catholic elementary school adopted new lunchroom rules this week requiring students to remain silent while eating. The move comes after three recent choking incidents in the cafeteria.

No one was hurt, but the principal of St. Rose of Lima School explained in a letter to parents that if the lunchroom is loud, staff members cannot hear a child choking.

That's a bit tough, isn't it?

I'd say so, but it's not the half of it:

The principal's letter also spelled out other new lunch rules, including requiring students to stay in their seats and limiting them to one trip to the trash can. Any child who breaks the rules will serve detention the next day.

Surely they'll have a full detention hall tomorrow, won't they?

I guess. There has been some dissention:

Christine Lamoureux, whose 12-year-old is a sixth-grader at the school, said she respects the safety issue but thinks it is a bad idea.

"They are silent all day," she said. "They have to get some type of release." She suggested quiet conversation be allowed during lunch.

Worrying that they're silent "all day", isn't it?

You say that, but there is a method to their madness. Apparently in the ancient Trappist brotherhood, where members have maintained their vow of silence for around 800 years, there has never been a fatal choking. The written records of the order attribute this to the fact that someone around has always heard the constricted breath and stepped in with a Heimlich manoeuvre.

Amen to that. Goodnight, Jonny.

Goodnight, Frank.

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