The Scripps National Spelling Bee begins May 25, with ESPN and ESPN 3 televising the final three rounds, as God certainly never intended. Seeing young teens struggle under the scrutiny of hot lights and Samantha Steele is, to me, so very close to child abuse that we may as well call it that. Last year we watched a six-year-old wait for over an hour to spell “dirigible” … that’s entertainment.
What makes us as a society feel the need to expose our youngsters to the pressure, dangers and emotional upheaval of dangerous sports and competition? We’ve got nine-year-olds trying to summit Mt. Everest, high school sophomores trying to sail solo around the world, and then there’s the Little League World Series — the most insidious of our national youth time-wasters.
There are more examples in the slideshow below: our top eight examples of organized competitive child abuse. Why can’t we just let kids be kids? The answer is shrouded in mystery … but if any kid out there can figure it out we’ll award him or her with a giant trophy and the winner will then move on to the national finals in Washington D.C.