I just had the thought “Man, it would be hard to find the right balance between letting my kid know they could come to me with anything and inculcating the values of not being a snitch.”
I’m not sure that it’s such a great value? “Kids should rally together against a hostile school administration” is one thing.
“Yes, I’m cutting in front of you in the lunch line. No, I don’t care how many times you’ve asked me to go to the back, I’m not going to. What? How dare you threaten to inform the school employees? Don’t be a snitch!” is another thing. (This happened the other week.)
I’m not sure how this dispute is supposed to be resolved. Sure, telling the cashier guy what happened does potentially qualify as escalating the situation, and sure, the administration sucks. But what am I supposed to do?
- Persuade our shared peers to respect the student in question less? Oh, wait, we don’t have any.
- Initiate a fistfight? That escalates even more, still gets the administration involved except in a more reliable manner and more harshly, and also at least one of us (read: definitely me) gets severely injured.
- Persuade the person that, out of the kindness of his heart, he should just go to the back of the line? Not going to happen, trust me.
- Convince the schools to allow more lunch vendors? Not going to happen on a reasonable timescale.
- Just ignore it? Incentivzes other people watching to do the same to me later.
Start trash-talking the asshole who cut and make a scene
That would result in authority figures hearing.
But you’re not snitching. Not your fault if an authority figure overhears you quite innocently telling the jerk to get back in line.
(I don’t actually think “snitching” is bad. It is supposedly “bad” because it is disloyal, but I never promised the jerk loyalty in the first place.)