News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists


Light turns from green to red

Dee Dee Jones, who is the principal at Somerville Road Elementary School, says she is familiar with the red light/
green light concept some schools use in their cafeteria.

She hasnít seen it in action, though, and what I told her the other morning while we worked out side by side on the ellipticals at our favorite gym confirmed what sheís been told.

The concept is good. In theory, it teaches children how to control their destiny while munching on lunch. In practice, though, itís too much for some kindergarten students, including my grandson.

Everybody knows red light/green light language. Red means stop; amber means caution; and green means go.

Apply that concept to certain little fellows and things can go astray.

While they eat, youngsters may talk as long as the light stays green. If it turns amber, that means they are getting louder and are approaching the point where all talking is to stop.

Wright Deas, 6, and his buddies got into trouble last week when they caused all talking to stop. The smiley faces heís brought home since school began turned into a frown. Wright was in trouble. Even worse, he was the leader of the troublemakers.

They caused the conversation light to miss amber and change straight from green to red.

Fascinated that the words they spoke could cause the light to change colors, his group put the red light/green light to a fairness test. Could a part be greater than its sum? Would four voices make a difference?

While the light burned green, the Gang of Four counted to three then let out whoops.

The light went red. Everybody stopped talking and stared at the four, who instantly felt they should not have done that and that they would like to be somewhere else.

Triumph was fleeting.

Tom Wright is executive editor.

Tom Wright Tom Wright
DAILY Executive Editor

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