Empathy vs. Rules

As we were eating snack in our Butterfly classroom one morning, everyone stopped mid bite when we heard a gasp and the sound of small crackers cascading to the floor.  In attempting to open her container of goldfish, a child had dropped every one. 

From another table a boy’s voice spoke up saying:  “That’s sad.”  

We got out the dust pan and cleaned it up together, and the little girl started eating some of her other food. At that moment, the boy who had commiserated appeared by this little girl’s side, carefully holding 3 of his own goldfish crackers in his cupped hands — an offering of comfort.

While our school rule is that we never share snack, this was clearly an instance of when that rule should be broken — when empathy and  community building trumped rules and regulations!