Regulation of the Day 201: Playground Chatter

Quebec officials are starting to listen in on what children are talking about on school playgrounds during recess. Are they trying to catch wind of terrorist plots? Stamp out juvenile drug use? Put a stop to bullying? None of the above, actually:

Diane De Courcy, the board’s chairwoman, said the approach will be persuasive, not punitive.

“There will be no language police,” she said. Instead, monitors who overhear children using their mother tongue during recess will simply remind them of the rules.

“If they are automatically switching to another language, (the monitor) will gently tap them on the shoulder – not on the head – to tell them, ‘Remember, we speak French. It’s good for you.’

Yes, speak French. It’s good for you.

A kindlier, more tolerant, and more realistic view is that people — even children — are perfectly capable of deciding for themselves which language they shall speak. Let them.