A 10-year-old girl has made her plea to let love live on, after her school tried to impose a ban on relationships between primary school students.
Melbourne year five student, Una, has written a letter straight from the heart – asking her school to let them “practice” love.
Una’s letter, which was re-published on her mother, author Penni Russon’s blog, asks her school to let them “practice handling big emotions”.
'Love is a normal part of life.' Image via iStock.
The 10-year-old wrote: “When we are older, we will become more serious about it, but in the meantime, we should practice.”
Her second reason, she wrote, was that “love, of course, a normal part of life!”
“Almost every human being loves someone at the very least once in their life! And so children at (my) primary do too!” she wrote.
The letter was prompted by an edict from a teacher at the school who told the children they were too young for such relationships and shouldn’t display affection at school.
Her mum Penni reproduced it, writing of her fear that by banning relationships students may not “feel safe” to access support and guidance from teachers and school leaders “in matters of interpersonal relationships.”
While the school has now told The Herald Sun that it didn’t have any formal ruling on relationships, it has sparked a wider debate on what’s appropriate in terms of puppy love.
“There is no ban on children having boyfriends and girlfriends, and we know schoolyard romances are a part of growing up,” the principal said.
“At our school, we speak to our students about behaving respectfully towards each other and behaving appropriately in the schoolyard."
Last year a Victorian school made headlines when it banned 'hugging' in the playground.. Post continues after video..
We all have memories of a primary school relationship.
The boy next door whose initials you used to doodle in your school diary, the girl who was proposed to with a cheese ring signifying their undying love, well at least until recess.
The girl and boy who held hands in the playground.
Should schools allow relationships? Image via IStock.
It is innocent rite of passage that starts important discussions about relationships.
By shutting down these discussions we forgo a way to teach our children about the big stuff - relationships, consent, respect and tolerance.
What we as grown-ups need to realise is it's about perspective, these kids are kids, they are acting out what they see in the real world, their actions shouldn't be concerning they should be used as a leapfrog to start a family discussion about what's appropriate.
This isn't the oddest ban a school has enforced. What about a ban on musical chairs?... Post continues after video...
Judy Reith, parenting coach and director of Parenting People told ParentDish: “If your child at primary school says they have a girlfriend or boyfriend, you should investigate what it means, but if parents try to ban a relationship then it makes it all the more attractive.”
Una is right - love is nothing to be ashamed of - it's how we, as adults, react to it that matters.
The letter in full:
To Mr ____,
I very strongly believe that students at our school should be allowed to be in a strong relationship with each other. This, in other words, is having a boyfriend or girlfriend.
A lot of boys and girls in our school have a boyfriend or girlfriend. However, teachers spoke to their students about us not being allowed to anymore. I think this is outrageous! I have some reasons to support my thoughts.
My first reason is, I think it helps us practice handling big emotions. When we are older, we will become more serious about it, but in the meantime, we should practice. We need to know what to do with them. No teacher expects a prep child to be able to read in a day, right? They need to PRACTICE! And so do we with big emotions like the ones some of us have!
My second reason is, love is, of course, a normal part of life! Almost every human being loves someone at the very least ONCE in their life! And so children at our school do too!
And my third and final reason is that it is certainly not necessary to feel ashamed about the emotions you have toward someone else! I think it is disappointing that our lovely school would turn down something like that!
Concluding, I hope that you will agree with me and make sure we take away this terrible rule.