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In what she referred to as a “soapbox moment,” a Florida mom sent a note to her children’s school giving them permission to do something kids have been doing for thousands of years — climb trees.
A school official had reprimanded Julie Holcombe’s twin 12-year-old boys for doing exactly that — after school hours — prompting her to write the letter.
She then posted a copy of the letter to her Facebook page, together with this explanation:
Warning – the following is a soapbox moment.
Generally speaking, I think parents are way too quick to place blame on teachers or school administrators for the shortcomings of their own children. With that in mind, I acknowledge that this might be my own overreaction, but I couldn’t help it. Yes, I sent this with my boys this morning, just in case. Because for the love of Pete, kids should be able to climb trees.
“Dear teacher and/or guard who didn’t bother to identify himself to my children, even though when you confronted them it was after school hours yet my kids were asked to provide their names so that they could be identified to their principal –” read the letter’s salutation.
“I can think of few things better than knowing they are spending their time playing outside in the fresh air, taking advantage of the beautiful playground that nature can provide, getting exercise, using their imagination . . . all while climbing a tree. Your rationale that they should not partake in this activity for fear that if they fall the school district will be sued is both sad and ridiculous,” she continued.
“So, from this point forward, I respectfully ask that you let my kids be kids,” she wrote. “The time that they have left to do so is fading painfully fast,” she concluded.
She then turned the letter into an official permission slip by granting to her boys, Ryan and Patrick Holcombe permission to:
Climb a tree
Pick up sticks
Pretend to have a sword fight
Play unsupervised sports
Generally do anything and everything related to being a kid
The replies she received to her Facebook post were all favorable — with at least one from another mom, Carrie Fernandez, who attached a photo of her own child climbing a tree, along with the statement, “I support tree climbing.” Another, Kim Hendrix, simply replied, “You are my hero. I love it.”
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