Early this morning, BBC correspondent Simon Hall tweeted the following pictures of a handful of male students at Isca Academy in Exeter.

According to The Telegraph, the stunt was the unintentional brainchild of the school’s head teacher. She sarcastically suggested the boys wear skirts after denying their request to add shorts to the school uniform during the current heatwave.

The boys took her up on the offer and were subsequently praised all over the internet for their bold move:

It certainly is an amazing generation… but is it really as “genius” as some are led to believe?

In one sense, yes. As this story demonstrates, today’s kids are geniuses at picking up the pulse of the culture. They have learned that it’s cool to pursue equality at all costs. They have learned to place their own comfort ahead of the wishes of others. And they have also learned that it’s okay to pitch a protest over any small injustice that crosses their path.  

In essence, it seems this “amazing generation” has been trained to be geniuses at throwing a public tantrum in order to get their own way. It might be news to some, but that’s not genius.

Benjamin Franklin once said, “Genius without Education is like Silver in the Mine. Many would live by their Wits, but break for want of Stock.” Such a statement implies that true genius only springs out of a solid foundation of wisdom and knowledge. It is developed through the thoughtful consideration of an opinion. It is fostered through the logical presentation of an argument. And it is expanded not through instant gratification of demands, but through patient persistence for a cause.

If we’re going to end the spiral of chaos and anger into which society is descending, then perhaps we need to cultivate this latter form of genius with far more fervor than we’ve been accustomed in recent years.

Image Credit: Simon Hall Twitter