I am not a criminal

It saddens me to see people label teenagers as pot-smoking, promiscuous ne'er-do-wells. I am none of those, and yet people become so brazen as to label all of us as such. Many of the people I know are well on their way to become independent, productive citizens. Nearly all of us will become citizens not unlike yourselves one day. Consider who you were in high school and who you are now.

In reference to a "true perspective", a few items come to mind. Social psychology shows us that under perceived duress, we will instinctively become either defiant or submissive. Frankly, I'm not surprised that the students at FCHS acted how they did. Adolescence is filled with feeling of angst, struggle, conflict, and the idea of repression directed towards the individual. The Stanford prison experiment illustrates how a situation perceived as being oppressive can influence the human mind, on the side of both the captor and the confined. Simply put, we become rebellious when we are afraid.

It has never been the actual act of locking the bathrooms that has worried me. What disconcerts me on so many levels is the idea of a "slippery slope". The question to be asked is not "what happened?", but rather "what now?". What will the administrators and school board do next? If there is a major drug incident, will they begin mandatory drug screening on the whole populace? If there was a violent incident in the commons, will armed guards roam the hallways at all hours of the school day? I fear the day may come. If the crackdowns on the entire populace continue, they (I pray not "we", but time will decide) will continue to rebel, and they will begin to unite and organize. If that day comes, there will be no "gangs", only an insurgency.

I am not a criminal, do not make one of me.

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borntorun's picture
Submitted by borntorun on Sat, 02/02/2008 - 9:44am.

You are absolutely correct, Tennfan1....the vast majority of teenagers are good kids who don't smoke dope or get in trouble and will grow up to be good productive citizens. Unfortunately, you don't read about them in the Citizen.

It's the old story - bad news sells. After all, it's not the thousands of airplanes that land and take off every day safely, it's the rare one that crashes that makes the news.

The power of the media is quite frightening in its ability to generalize and profile groups of people. And now with blogs, heck, anyone can say anything about anybody, the truth be damned. Sad...

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