It was bound to happen. A Press-Banner reader decided that Boulder Creek Elementary School Principal Lynn Chappell's "reading stunt" set "a very bad example for every kid in the community" (“Reading stunt sets bad example,” Letters, May 4).
Most parents could make a staggering list of things our kids regularly encounter that truly set a poor example for our youth: speeding drivers, teenagers smoking, bullying language and actions, a staggering lack of manners and decency, Little League boards that dismiss volunteer managers mid-season — and that's only in our community. The outside influences from the media, via the Internet and television, also provide a wide array of bad choices.
As a parent of a first-grader and a sixth-grader, I have taken it upon myself to teach my children the difference between right and wrong. I act as a filter between the world and my children to the best of my abilities. Do I think my children will attempt to scale a roof to emulate Mrs. Chappell's reading reward? Do I think they will suddenly start smoking, cursing, and being disrespectful toward others? No, because they understand my expectations of them, and I've taught them better.
Mrs. Chappell had promised her students that, at the culmination of the Reading Zone participation period, she would read to them from the roof. And she did. And it was mesmerizing for all involved. The kids had never seen anyone do that before, and just like Ms. Frizzle in "The Magic School Bus" series, Mrs. Chappell went outside the box to capture her students' attention and educate her school. The kids were abuzz with the novelty of seeing their principal on the roof, and during the performance, the students gleefully interacted with Mrs. Chappell as she read two books that celebrated the spirit of our community.
I recommend that anyone who fears for their child's safety after seeing a picture in a newspaper should focus more on their own parenting skills rather than the actions of others.
BCE is a fine, fine school. Mrs. Chappell is a fine, fine principal. The school is filled with fine, fine students. And those of us who entrust Mrs. Chappell and her outstanding staff with the care and education of our children wouldn't have it any other way.
Christina Wise, Boulder Creek