A little red ink makes us all stronger - Shannon Jenkins

If all teachers stop using red pens to correct students' papers, then these future leaders of America will be one step closer to being big wimps.

News reports from around the United States have described the traditional red marks as frightening, intimidating and aggressive. They say purple is much more student-friendly.

I say purple is for "Barney." Slap on the red ink.

Come on, people. What are we doing to these kids? We're turning them into a bunch of cry-babies.

What's going to happen when these kids are adults in the real world where plenty of things are frightening, intimidating and aggressive? How will they handle rejection and criticism? They'll break like crispy twigs in summer – that's what they'll do.

Where do we draw the thin, red line between protecting our children and shielding them from the world?

We've already done away with spanking because anti-spankers said it teaches children that "physical abuse" is OK. A belt touched my bottom plenty of times, and I don't run around punching people in the face. But then again, red marks on my assignments didn't crush my delicate spirit either.

With spanking nearly outlawed and red ink soon to follow, I wonder what's next.

Sports can stress some kids out. Athletics is a nice combination of fear, intimidation and aggression. Maybe if we bubble-wrapped those kids and replaced equipment with feathers, sports might not be so stressful.

And homework is so intimidating. There's all that pressure for getting it done right and turned in on time. A possible purple-ink solution would be to soften up this problem by eliminating deadlines and lowering the grading standards. We don't want to make kids cry.

Those suggestions are just about as ridiculous as this red ink theory.

A change of color won't protect children from all the world has to offer.

Life is frightening.

We have to deal with death, disease, war and tragedies. Will purple ink solve this for our little ones? How are they supposed to cope with these fears if they're scared of a little red ink?

Life is intimidating.

We have to work overtime just to keep food on the table and our bills paid on time. That might be a little too much pressure for kids who get weak in the knees from red markings.

Life is aggressive.

Everyone has competition. If you can't keep up, you'll get trampled in the crowd. People aren't as friendly as purple ink.

It's time we realize that children need to develop thick skin. If red pens make them cringe, I'm afraid they won't make it very far as adults. It's all the red ink in life that makes us stronger.

Shannon Jenkins is the education reporter for the Daily Herald. He can be reached at (770) 957-9161 or at sjenkins@henryherald.com .