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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.