My three-year-old granddaughter has entered Head Start preschool. On her first day, she told her mom that she had been behaving all day...kids who behave are apparently assigned a green color. Kids who misbehave are given a red color.
This story took me back to my own Kindergarten days and the Terror Of The Sad Clown. In my classroom, an elaborately-drawn clown was featured in the upper right corner of the front chalkboard. Under the morose clown face was a line.
And under that line, the names of misbehaving children were written by the teacher.
You had to earn sad clown status. A warning would be given...then a second.
But if a child continue to misbehave, the teacher would slowly pull back her chair form her desk..rise...head to the chalkboard...pick up the chalk...and slow--ever so slowly--head to the sad clown.
A terrified hush would fall over the classroom. Someone was going to get sad clown status. And they'd be banned from partaking in a recess.
If clowns ever wonder why they are unpopular, they can trace it to kindergarten and a time when clowns were associated with a lack-of-fun, not laughs and tiny cars.