When I was in my Catholic elementary school, we all took great pride in seeking to have the prettiest cursive writing in the class. Much to my chagrin, I was not one of those writers. Don’t get me wrong, I loved learning and writing in cursive, but I just did not have manual dexterity to craft the model handwriting as did some of my fellow students.
Crappy handwriting or not, I now write in cursive every single day in my journal. I am fanatical about the Zen mental state and hand and finger dexterity it affords me, and I far prefer my pen and paper to tapping away on a keyboard to share my innermost thoughts.
However: Enter keyboards, smart phones, tablets. Exit: cursive handwriting.
Courtesy of the Common Core State Standards of 2010, which set out guidelines for K-12 education in English language, arts, and mathematics, schools were no longer required to teach cursive handwriting. Why? Because the powers that be decided that future communication would take place digitally, not by hand. However, some states have issued statutes making the teaching of cursive handwriting mandatory – yay! These states include Texas, Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas, Virginia, California, Florida, and North Carolina.
Bravo to these states because our historical documents, as in the Constitution and Declaration of Independence, are written in cursive. Kids who are not taught cursive will not be able to read it, or anything else that is written in beautiful, handwritten script. And kids who don’t know cursive will not have a signature: could they be on the verge of identifying themselves with numbers?
Would you believe (of course you would) that in this day of rampant conspiracy theories that a widely seen TikTok video promoted the idea that cursive writing was dying so people could not read the bedrock of our democracy documents and therefore understand their rights? Phooey. Says Reuter Fact Check:
Although it is not part of the Common Core State Standards guidance, each state and U.S. territory can choose whether to teach cursive writing. Versions of the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights are widely available online and in print in a variety of formats and fonts.
So, boys, girls, men, and women, the moral of this story is to not believe what you see on TikTok, or any other social media platform; rather, pick up that pen, buy yourself a Moleskin pad, and write away to your heart’s content.