Third graders know, there's one rule... that never does.
"Treat other people how you want to be treated," Alaina Wolff said.
It shines gold.
In 2008, these kids were barely two feet tall. Now, at a full 50 inches, they're learning math.
These students were eating baby food when Barack Obama became president. Now, they're in the lunch line.
Since they started school, mass shootings have made headlines more than ever.
Sexual assault accusations, from trusted adults from all walks of life open a door for a conversation with no easy explanation.
Our nation is divided. Our kids, are caught in the middle.
Alaina Wolff is a third grader...her world...is...
"It's good...some things are not. It depends," third grader Alaina Wolff said.
Alaina says she knows how to handle bad news.
"I don't really like to listen to that. I just hope it doesn't happen again," Wolff said.
She's certainly seen a lot of it on the news.
"Even if they're not your friend...well, everyone's your friend, but even if they're not your best friend, you should be nice to them," Wolff said.
Jojo Henry watches the news too.
"I think a lot," Henry said.
"You all have to include each other, and be nice to each other, then nothing bad would happen," Henry said.
Beckett Nelson has a hard time putting what he thinks about the world into words.
"Sometimes the world is more easier... and you, just want to rely on your grownups and stuff. They're the ones who are nice to you," third grader Beckett Nelson said.
On the playground, politics are simple. If someone cheats at hide and go seek, or steals your swing...you might argue. That doesn't mean they're not your friend.
"If we ever get in an argument, we all just apologize," Jojo Henry said.
When we outgrow the playground we forget the rules we learned there.
"Children look up to them, and they need a role model," Nelson said.
Beckett says, adults could do a better job.
"Sometimes they don't worry about other people, they just do their own thing," Nelson said.
And the golden rule stands the test of time.
"When we have a disagreement, we go 'why are we doing this?' it doesn't make sense to fight," Henry said.
These kids don't call the shots. They can't vote. They're not republican or democrat... or old enough to know what that means. But they are watching. They're old enough to understand what's going on in our world, but not quite old enough to change it.
At eight and nine years old, they've learned how to get along... and have some advice, for those who decide their future.
"They can be in huge meetings and talk to each other about it," Henry said.
The key word, they say, is talking. Beckett says he's not fond of arguing.
"It makes the other person's day bad," Nelson said.
These kids say they use their words to solve playground problems.
"They could have really hurt feelings. You just need to be nice to everyone," Wolff said.
It's not always easy to be nice. Alaina says adults need to remember they have options, before they point fingers.
"They can just talk it out, they can say sorry....or they can just take a break from each other! When you take a break, and then when you see them around...it's like it didn't happen," Wolff said.
The golden rule. Treat other people, how you want to be treated.
We forget it, after we leave the playground.
These kids say grown ups... need to remember what they learned back in third grade.
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