Friday, May 05, 2006

Filipino mom to ask for public apology

This little incident is a perfect example of how something possibly trivial can go way out of hand. It also shows how much influence the press has on people and why journalists have such a great responsiblity to produce fair, accurate and truthfull reportage.

First, let me state my position. I do not know the parents. I do not know the child. I do no know the principal. I have not been to the school or talked to anyone in it. I am a Filipino and I eat regular meals with a fork and spoon. All the information I gather about this incident is from this article and from the many articles posted around the internet about it be it in an online news paper, a comment or blog. It is a position that you, as readers, and I share. We should all remember it.

Children are "children" and no one should be surprised if they act like children during meal time, heck I know perfectly mature adults who act like children in front of the dinner table. It is, therefore, a prerogative to discipline and to guide them about correct etiquitte be it the Canadian or the Filipino way. IF the child was unruly during meal time then the school representatives had every right to impose discipline and reprimand the child for his behavior. I beleive it is their duty to do so.

What concerns me here is that people are so enraged at the comments of the principal and his staff that they may not have stopped to consider that it may not be about the "spoon and fork" but rather the behavior of the child during meal time. It may not be about what utensils the child was using but HOW the child was using them.

The article mentions that the mother has spoken with the principal. What is not evident to me is that aside from the phone conversasion, was whether she had a chance to talk personally with the principal before lodging her complaint.

I empathize with one of the commenters of this article who is vigorously trying to explain that it is a disciplinary issue and not racial or cultural one, for it may very well NOT be about Filipino or Canadian etiquette. It may really just be about a child that has been reprimanded for unbecoming behavior.

The comments of the principal can easily be misconstrued as an attack on the eating habits of Filipinos.

It is also possible that the mother beleives it to be so, an attack on the use of a fork and spoon. None of us can really tell for sure because how it was said is just as important as what was said.

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