Picture this: your kid's school calls and says your fifth grader has been a naughty boy. He set up his own NCAA basketball pool on the playground, and the principal is perturbed. Do you scream or laugh? Giggling mamas, join Max Kohll's mom in a round of raucous laughter.
She thought the notion that her 11-year-old was the mastermind to some gambling ring at Columbian Elementary in Omaha, Nebraska was ridiculous. And I'm with her. It's called letting kids be kids. School administrators country-wide might want to brush up!
The ambitious little b-ball fan had pulled in $5 antes from a bunch of his buds who'd filled out their brackets. The winner would have gotten half the pot, and the second and third place guessers would split the rest. To me that says Max likes math. To his school principal, it said Max was spreading the scourge of gambling in her school.
Oh come on! What's next? Are we going to stomp out the scourge of kids trading baseball cards next? I mean, garsh, you never know what an Andy Petitte could bring in 20 years. Taking it off a little dude's hands for a mint Derek Jeter might be grand larceny.
I know all about the ills of gambling. There are people who have lost everything dear to them at the casinos. But this is fifth grade. FIFTH grade. Chances are most of these "gamblers" have yet to lose their baby fat. Forget their house and wife.
I know I spent years gambling on the school bus -- unbeknownst to my mother or the bus driver. We played poker for pennies. The result was a few of my mom's empty tomato sauce jars full of coins ... not a gambling problem. I grew up and grew out of the habit ... like most kids who pick up something just for fun.
I can't help wondering how many fewer discipline problems schools would have if they stopped ascribing adult problems to childish actions. Just because a kid does something doesn't mean they have the same reasoning behind it that an adult might.
Check this cutie out on Jimmy Kimmel and tell us what you would have done if you were his mom?
Image via Jimmy Kimmel Live/YouTube