Is It that Serious? Keep the Main Thing The Main Thing, Don’t Major In the Minor

Yesterday I was at Paul Quinn College with 262 seniors. The keynote speaker was an alumnus and had an amazing message for the students. During the speech one of the boys behind me said “man look he has his earrings in his ear. Bruh he has two earrings in his ear and still made 40 million dollars last year. That’s what’s up! They need to stop harassing us about earrings at school.”

The conservation later switched to how teachers and administrators harass boys if they have an earring in their ear.

This reminded me of a serious meeting earlier this year with a parent, student, and young administrator. Guess what the turmoil, friction, and animosity were about? Earrings! The child would put them on once he left home, between classes, and during lunch. He’s been caught with them several times and the administrator would call mom every time (over 10 times).

During the meeting, the mom voiced her frustration and talked about how she felt her son was being targeted and harassed. She did mention that the child was wrong and doesn’t leave home with the earrings. The administrator then discussed school policy, the handbook, and the student dress code and mentioned that boys aren’t allowed to wear earrings.

After a few minutes, the child was distraught that he had caused this MAJOR turmoil. He said “I’m an A student, I’m in student council, I play all sports, and I have never been to the office before the issue with earrings. I’m sorry!” When asked why he didn’t follow directions? He replied that the earrings were in style and they made him feel smooth (he’s 14).

I couldn’t do anything but smile. I removed myself from the meeting and returned with my earrings in my ear. Everyone was shocked and speechless. I reminded the young administrator to not major in the minor. I shared with him that an earring or even a hoodie was something I never crucified students for. Additionally, I asked him was his ear pierced? He responded yes. I then asked when did he get them pierced? He said when I was 14. I asked him why did he get them pierced? He smiled and said to look smooth 😷. I think he got the message. I reminded his mom how important it is for him to feel smooth at 14, and I reminded the young man that there’s a time and place to be smooth and requested for him to not wear the earrings until after school and at the basketball and football games. He responded, “Yes Sir!” He never wore the earrings again during school.

During these difficult times in education where everyone is on edge and stress is at an ALL time high let’s keep the main thing the main thing and that’s providing a world-class education.

I conclude by quoting the two seniors behind me at the convocation “Bruh he has two earrings in his ear and still made 40 million last year. That’s what’s up! They need to stop harassing us at school about earrings.” Keep the main thing the main thing, and stop majoring in the minor.