Officials at El Camino High School in Oceanside, California are under attack for an outrageous program where they falsely told children that several of their classmates had been killed in car accidents over the weekend. After widespread hysteria, the school officials admitted that it was hoax and was simply their effort to educate them through scared straight learning.
This bizarre story began when highway patrol officers visited 20 classrooms at El Camino High School to announce the deaths. This moronic scared-straight exercise was designed by school officials.
Oceanside Schools Superintendent Larry Perondi insists that “We did this in earnest. This was not done to be a prankster.” No, most pranksters would show more maturity and sense — and most pranksters are not trained educators who should know better.
This is a case where the children have shown more sense and sensitivity than the teachers. The students have been protesting with signs that read “Death is real. Don’t play with our emotions.”
It is hard to understand how these people secured positions with authority over children, but that is a fact that needs to be examined immediately. In the meantime, it will be interesting to see if anyone sues for intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence, and negligent infliction of emotional distress. It seems that the Oceanside school system may be in need of some scared straight lessons itself.
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3 thoughts on “Driving Kids to Distraction at El Camino High: School Officials Use Terror and Grief as Part of Lesson Plan”
How very Mengelesque! Wonder where all the “good Americans” will be when we finally restore good sense and rid ourselves of these pantywaist fascists now apparently infiltrating the education system. And how about the cops participating? What moron authorized that brilliant police work? Teaching them a lesson,indeed. Maybe a jury will re-educate our educators.
No, they’re reminiscent of the psychological experiments of the 50s where researchers simulated things like failed elevators (plunging towards death) and other traumatic events. All in the name of research. Never mind that some people developed what would now be recognized as PTSD.
That finally ended with the notorious Stanford Prison Experiment. Psychology grad students were told to play the role of prisoners and prison guards. They did it a little too well — the ‘guards’ were starting to get physically brutal with the ‘prisoners’ even though everyone knew, if anybody had asked, that they were just graduate students in an experiment. That was a wakeup call and all reputable researchers (and school administrators) stopped it.
Hell, even the “red card/green card” type experiments in social justice (where a 4th grade class is randomly assigned a colored card and holders of one color must be subservient to the other) have been shown to have long-term consequences beyond the intended enlightment re prejudice. It comes down to the details of how the lesson is taught in each classroom.
As for this particular scenario, there’s already a well-respected alternative. A handful of popular students report to the drama department before school and have ‘death mask’ makeup applied. They attend class, but are not permitted to interact with others. Students experience a touch of a friend suddenly dying without the trauma of believing the friend has actually died.
Never mind that these type of “scared straight” tactics work.
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