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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Truth and Disinformation

As I mentioned in my last entry, school's out for summer (or will be daughter is done for the year and this is my son's last week). I had an interesting little conversation with my kids on the ride home from picking up my daughter from school. I had asked her how she was feeling about the school year being over, and her reply was "both happy and sad".

We then began discussing the year, and all the things that happened, how fast it flew by and so on. She then mentioned that a few kids had gotten into trouble during the year, some had been expelled, some suspended and then reverse suspended - meaning they have to stay during the summer to finish up - and we started to talk about the reasons why.

Can you guess?

One expulsion was for cheating...they take that kind of thing very seriously at her school, but the rest of the problems were drug and alcohol related. Lest you start feeling superior because "the school your kids go to don't have drug and alcohol problems", let me assure you, you are wrong. In fact, I am not even going to refer to it as a "problem", because it is so common it is really a rite of passage. These were the kids that were just stupid enough to get caught, meaning the experience was most likely new to them, and they didn't yet know how to "maintain" as we used to say.

I then launched into one of my mini-lectures (the car ride is only so long) when my daughter said, rather tenatively "it seems like everyone is getting high, and they are still doing allright". She continued to bring as an example a boy who is the sports star at the school, and pulls off straight As to boot. "He is a complete stoner and has a bong in his room". Her issue was that what she was observing in real life hardly seemed to correspond to the doomsday message being hammered into her head at school about the evils of drugs and alcohol.

Time warp! You might even say, Flash Back!

Suddenly I was back in high school and was remembering a conversation I had had with one of my "party friends". We were making fun of a list they had given us on "how to know if you had a problem with drugs or alcohol". According to their list, half the school should have been in rehab. The adults had no credibility then, and they don't have it now. Why? Because adults are not telling kids the truth. We are using scare tactics and zero tolerance which is falling on deaf ears because reality is so obviously quite different.

At what point do people go through this brain scrub that causes them to forget how things were when they were young, and start spouting off platitudes like there is no tomorrow?

I know the answer.

It is that moment of terror when you realize that your sweet little child will one day have to navigate the sometimes hellacious halls of highschool. Because we know what may happen with the boy who is a sports star and gets straight As.


PS... I am planning to write more on this topic because it is so very important. So please chime in and stay tuned!

1 comment:

Jessie said...

I came from very very stoned parents, but after my dad died of cancer, CPS took me and my brother away from what was left of my mom. I went to a foster home, and then my older sister took me in, right when I was going into middle school, right when people started talking about smoking pot and such. Honestly, seeing what it did to my parents, and seeing what it does to people in general, I just didnt want any part of it. My sister wasnt strict with me, she didnt watch me a lot because she worked, and nobody ever really told me drugs were bad, outside of school programs and such. I made the decision on my own not to be a part of it. Ive never picked up a cigarette and never done any kind of drugs, and Ive only had maybe 3 or 4 drinks in my life (Im 23 now.)

My ex best friend, she was one of the smartest people I knew. I feel comfortable surrounding myself with smart people, so she made it to position #1 by being able to hold intellectual and stimulating converations with me. Then she got into pot, and drinking, and as much fun as she had, it made her seem less smart to me. Then she made a big mistake that ruined our friendship about this time last year.

Sure, shes happy and having fun, but I dont like not having control over my body. It floated her boat to get away, I guess.