That’s right! It’s the duty of good citizens to treat them kindly. Especially worms and ants and spiders:
Good citizenship is not just a question of respect for one’s fellow humans, it seems. The government has decreed that children should be taught not to hurt a fly.
New curriculum guidance says citizenship classes should pay due regard to the wellbeing of what it calls “mini-beasts”, including bees, ants and worms.
The classes are part of the “animals and us” section of the primary school citizenship curriculum. It says children can become “active citizens” by learning that “other living things have needs and they have responsibilities to meet them”.
By the age of seven pupils should have learnt that “humans have a responsibility to ensure the wellbeing of animals, including mini-beasts” and will have been told rules for “behaviour in areas where animals live”: for example, “not stamping on insects”.
Hey, I’m all for looking after animals and refraining from hurting insects (I make exceptions for mosquitoes, black flies, and deer flies – these I have an absolute right to exterminate at will). I just wish they’d teach kids to respect smaller forms of human life as well, is all.
Update: A thoughtful reader reminds me that this would be a splendid time for a t-shirt plug.by