Tuesday, February 16, 2016

No Live Plants

I had another Rae Pica moment. I know it sounds like I'm using her name in vain, but I'm really not (or at least that's not my intent). After reading her book and seeing her #AskingWhatIf posts, I always think of her when I run into things that just seem incomprehensible or over-reactive in education settings. (Rae, if you want me to stop using your name, please tell me.)

A friend commented that her husband sent her fabric roses for Valentine's Day since the school does not allow any live plants or flowers. That washed over me for a minute. Then I had a mental double take. What? No live plants?

The reason? Allergies. I understand the need to keep kids safe and avoid things that could cause concern. But no live plants? I have so many questions.

How can kids explore and understand plants and how they live?
What about science exploration?
Do kids ever get to go outside, where live plants are everywhere?
Or is the "landscaping" around the school just concrete?
What happened to using the senses to investigate the world?
Can kids plant seeds and watch them grow?
Can they go to a pumpkin patch or orchard for a field trip?

I know, I know. Allergies. But surely there's another way to address these needs without totally banning the natural world.

Thanks, Rae, for making me be in tune with these things. And for keeping me asking "What if?"

**Note: I am not trying to be unkind to any school, leader, or administration. But I don't think many leaders nowadays are truly thinking through implications of the "easy way out."


  1. Oh my! How very sad! I know many places have outlawed classroom pets (except a few like fish and hermit crabs) and that is very sad too.

  2. Are the allergies they referring to life threatening? Good grief.