Archive for 17th June 2008

Professional Educators say “Trauma is good for kids!”

That’s what their actions say, anyway.

Some El Camino High stu­dents in Ocean­side received the shock of a life­time. School admin­is­tra­tors and offi­cers claimed some of their class­mates died in a drunk dri­ving acci­dent, but it was all a hoax that was intended to be a hard lesson.

They’d bet­ter be damned glad I didn’t have a kid in that school.

Edited to add:
I’m with Jon Car­roll on this one.

The take­away is: Don’t trust any­one. Grown-​​ups will lie to you and try to make you feel bad. The world sucks even worse than you thought it did. Guid­ance coun­selor Lori Tauber defended the exer­cise: “They were trau­ma­tized, but we wanted them to be trau­ma­tized. That’s how they get the message.”

These are pro­fes­sional edu­ca­tors, and they are com­fort­able with the fol­low­ing ped­a­gogic the­ory: Trauma is good for kids. It’s an effec­tive teach­ing tool. Why not teach Amer­i­can lit­er­a­ture the same way? Har­poon a real whale and watch it die — “Moby-​​Dick” brought to life! They’ll remem­ber that.

Maybe they’ll want to join Green­peace too. Two lessons for the price of one dead whale! And then the “dead” whale could wake up and make a mov­ing speech at assembly.

Are we that alien­ated from the ado­les­cents in our midst? Do we think that their feel­ings don’t mat­ter, that almost any­thing is jus­ti­fied in pur­suit of mak­ing sure they get a Life Les­son? Are we that cruel? Appar­ently we are — a major­ity of the par­ents in Ocean­side thought there was noth­ing wrong with this lit­tle exper­i­ment. Shake those kids up a little.