Teachers Told Using Red Ink Is Upsetting Children

The most important characteristic in being a teacher is sensitivity.

It might well be that the kids in your class shout obscenities at you, refuse to work and could be armed.

But if you’re going to really do your job, you have to first consider where the kids are coming from.

Which is generally a place called Coddled Egoville.

In Coddled Egoville, the kids have been fed with more positive energy than the average power station.

They’ve been told they’re wonderful to within an inch of hiring an agent.

They’ve been encouraged to express their feelings at the expense of a shrink visit a week and the ears of several neighbors.

How cruel, then, that some teachers refuse to think about the effect they’re having on tomorrow’s digital superbeings.

Am I suggesting that today’s educators aren’t paying sufficient attention to the children’s mental growth? Not at all.

I am suggesting that teachers are being thoughtless in using red ink to correct the hard and diligent work of young, impressionable minds.

The minute young eyes see red, they see red. Well, their eyes redden and they begin to weep.

You might believe that I exaggerate a tad. I would ask you to believe your eyes as you feast upon the Daily Mail story revealing that teachers in one London school were ordered by their principal to stop using red ink.

Because this was a state school, questions were asked whether there is some edict that demands teachers only use certain hues to prevent the childhood blues.

The British Government said not at all.

Note the parental advisory.

Note the parental advisory.

The Mail, however, discovered research from the U.S. that describes using red ink as expressing “warning, prohibition, caution, anger, embarrassment and being wrong.”

Some would find this oddly accurate. At least part of a teacher’s job is to explain, caution and warn when a student might be wrong, so as to prohibit such wrongness in the future — for such wrongness might cause the student embarrassment and even anger.

Yet some see merely pain and no gain.

Red ink might soon go the way of the cane, as more and more parents espy kids complaining of red-eye.

Those who would claim that critics of red ought to be dead sniffle that children really like the color, because it’s legible.

There are many teachers who learned to write at the Doctor’s Prescription Academy.

But I wonder whether clarity is the most important aspect here. Teachers don’t always care to read students’ essays and other ill-considered thoughts.

There are now even software programs that grade essays, without any red ink at all.

It’s impossible not to imagine there is something more subliminal at work.

Could it be that too many children now associate red with their local gang? You know, the gang that wears red and always hates the one that wears blue, therefore wanting to punch, kick and maim anyone wearing that color.

Could it be that some people fear that teachers like to use red not because it expresses rage, but because it expresses their raving socialism?

One of the great ironies of American politics is that the color red is attached to the political party that most professes to loathe socialism.

Yet everyone knows that teachers are, at heart, bleeding-heart reds.

I worry that the use of red ink is causing such rage against the educative machine. I fear, though, it may be just the beginning.

Next to go will be red traffic lights. They will besmirched as expressions of oppression, there to prevent freedom of movement.

Not far behind will be red lipstick. Its use will be said to encourage the bloodying of faces.

Those red London buses will have to go too.

Can’t the Brits see that they are mere trojan horses of communism, repositories of  the idea that people should commune together in order to move more slowly as one?


Image: Xperimental90/YouTube Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk