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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.

5 comments to Professional Educators say “Trauma is good for kids!”

  • Yes, these are the same edu­ca­tors that say home school­ers aren’t intro­duced to the real dog eat dog world by going to pub­lic schools. They need to have peer pres­sure and bul­ly­ing to be able to live in the real world. :/

  • Gaelan

    I felt the same way when I read that sto­ry. Is there no such thing as a code of ethics among edu­ca­tors? I thought of all the restric­tions that have been placed on psy­cho­log­i­cal researchers since the Mil­gram exper­i­ment and the Stan­ford prison exper­i­ment. This hoax per­pe­trat­ed on the stu­dents wouldn’t pass muster. It caus­es one to won­der what exact­ly the edu­ca­tion­al back­ground is of these edu­ca­tors if they lack such a basic under­stand­ing of ethics or the long-reach­ing effects of psy­cho­log­i­cal trau­ma.

    I won­der how they would have han­dled a “Romeo & Juli­et” sit­u­a­tion. That is, if one of the observ­ing stu­dents was so dev­as­tat­ed by the sight of a dead class­mate, he or she ran off and com­mit­ted sui­cide before learn­ing that it was a hoax, what respon­si­bil­i­ty would the school offi­cials bear?

  • cyn

    I thought the same thing, Alice. And my sis­ter, who is one of those “pro­fes­sion­al edu­ca­tors,” would prob­a­bly cheer those ass­hats on.

    I hadn’t thought of that pos­si­bil­i­ty, Gae­lan, but it’s a very good ques­tion.

  • **blinks** I can’t even express how many ways this is counter pro­duc­tive and cru­el.

  • That whole thing was just ter­ri­ble. Its one thing to scare some­one a lit­tle bit — but they just went way, way, too far.