Smack'm with a Rule(r)

People seem to fall into one of two groups - rule keepers and rule breakers. (This, like all generalizations, is somewhat misleading). I fall on the rule keeper side of things most of the time. If the sign says "No Trespassing Beyond This Sign", I won't go past the sign. (Admittedly, I might move the sign further in the desirable direction).

I think I'm a rule keeper because with four kids and leading a team of eight or ten people means I'm often the rule maker, so I have a healthy respect for the rules...and an understanding that the rule makers have a responsibility in making them.

Rule #256 about Rule Making: No Rule Shall Be Made If That Rule Proves Unenforceable.

While I'm a rules guy, I generally think fewer rules are better than lots of rules, because rules often beget more rules. Rules are like bunnies. You either have one rule (or perhaps 3 or 4 old rules) or you have a million of them.

This is the story that got me thinking about this. Long story short, a Mesa, Arizona high school was having a problem with overly affectionate teens, so they made a rule banning all hugs, except for those two seconds or shorter.

I understand the need to get a hold of the hormone-ick convergences in the hallways, but there is not a teacher on the planet who wants to be the time keeper for teen lovin'. Once you cannot (or don't) enforce a rule, you don't have a rule, you have a joke.

My prediction is that this rule will never work, and that in a few weeks the school administration will just ignore the rule (as will the kids) or be forced to throw the smackdown and declare 'no physical contact', something a little less objective than the two second rule.

The takeaway - make rules only when necessary, but make good ones, or you undermine your own authority.


Zack said...

wow!! gotta love my old school district! they actually threatened to take me and some friends to court (at 15-16 yrs old) over church and state issues when I was younger. Mesa is crazy.

Allison said...

Is this kind of like the "hill worth dyin' on" concept?

When I had kids, my grandma told me to pick my battles wisely. She told me that every hill ain't worth dying on.

Except for the sorrowful use of the word "ain't", I think it was good advice. :)