Day: June 17, 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.