I had an elementary school teacher who insisted that every boy
in the class wear a necktie. Most of the boys were able to comply,
but there were a few for whom neckties were an unaffordable luxury.
Was the teacher sympathetic? Did she rescind the necktie rule?
No. She made the boys who didn’t have ties wear rags around their
necks. She shamed them for being poor.
Some of the kids laughed, but I didn’t think it was funny.
But I didn’t say anything; I didn’t speak up.
I wish, now, that I’d let out a howl of outrage at the way she robbed
those boys of their dignity.