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Outrage Of The Year

Many of you have probably heard about this, and I'm sure it's all over the blogosphere, but it can't be ranted against enough.

I'm talking about the incident this past Monday when Highway Patrol officers came to a California high school and told students that several of their classmates had been killed in drunk driving accidents. Only they hadn't really. The officers were just trying to scare them straight. The idea was to tell them the truth at an assembly that afternoon. And probably have one of the officers yell "Psych!". Fortunately, some of the teachers and guidance counselors (God bless them) let the cat out of the bag early because so many students were so upset.

Guidance counselor Lori Tauber  tried to  justify it. She said "They were traumatized, but we wanted them to be traumatized. That's how they get the message". I hope this woman doesn't have any children. Who knows how messed up they would be after  a lifetime with her.

She probably thinks she is exercising "tough love". She is not. Tough love is about making people face the REAL consequences of REAL actions, not making things up. I have no problem with exposing kids to painful TRUTHS.  The lasting trauma didn't come from the stories of death, which were soon enough discovered to be false. They came from being lied to in the cruelest and most painful possible way by people who were supposed to have their best interests at heart.

I guess "the message" she wants them to get is not to drive drunk. That's not the message they got. The got three messages:

  1. The polilce will lie to you
  2. Your teachers will lie to you
  3. Stories about the dangers of drunk driving are just that...stories made up to scare you.
The last one is probably the most harmful message of all. Teenagers are already prone to dismiss cautionary tales from adults. A lot of these kids will dismiss serious warnings that could save their life. Warnings they might have heeded before this fiasco.

My title probably sounds hyperbolic, in light of all that has happened this year. But I feel comfortable saying that this is the greatest outrage this year that doesn't involve a physically violent crime. And I have a hard time imagining that will change.

If there's any justice in the world, people will lose jobs over this. Especially that stupid guidance counselor.


I totally agree with you there. I think they should have had some IMAP (Interstate Motorist Assistance Patrol) guys come in and talk about what they see. I know a couple of them from work, and they could tell some awful stories about drunks in accidents, since they are usually first on a scene.
That sounds like a good idea. Like I said in the post, I have no problem with telling kids about real consequences of real actions.
It's this kind of ridiculous misdirection that just infuriates me! If you want people to stop behaving like short-sighted, manipulating, sychophantic solipsistic trolls you need to stop treating them like radicals that need to be moderated, rather than trying to herd them and condition them into what you think is a reasonable course of action.

People think little kids are basically like intellectual incompetents, unable to form opinions or decisions that can be meaningful in any shape or form. Kids are just like adults are far as their reasoning goes, they just lack experience -- and that's what makes every experience so important. Kids think about extreme things from murder to sex all the time, and live in a terrifying world where they don't understand anything, and the last thing they need is people conspiring against them in order to artificially instill social values.

They need to learn the truth about the world they live in and it's vital that they learn it in the incredibly short period of time. The last thing they need is authority figures lying to them and tricking them. It's just disgusting.