Burying Head in Sand 101

In this morning’s Los Angeles Times, education columnist Bob Sipchen (right) wrote a piece on a new book called High School Confidential. The book is an expose written by a 24-year-old named Jeremy Iversen after he spent a semester undercover at a Southern California High School.

I saw Iversen on Good Morning America last week and it led me to pick up his book. As I read through it, he confirmed every suspicion that I had about high school today. High School is basically an out of control, wild party from the opening bell until the end of detention.

I’m not sure it was like that when I attended high school last decade (at least I hope it wasn’t because then I’d kick myself for missing out on all the fun) but it sure looks like it is now. And I believe it. Just walk through the mall and see how 13 and 14-year-old girls are dressing the way 18 and 19 year-old girls used to dress. Is it such a leap to believe that they’re also behaving that way too?

Iversen describes a scary world of in class drinking games, teachers coming onto students, teenager sex tapes being emailed around and parents and administrators with their heads in the sand. But now, thanks to Iversen, its all exposed and maybe our public schools can get back on track and ensure that our test scores don’t lag behind those in third world countries. Right?

Wrong! In comes the aforementioned LA Times column by Bob Sipchen. All the good that Iversen has done trying to open the nations eyes to this crisis in education including changing the name of the school to protect the underage innocent and guilty,) Sipchen systematically and recklessly tears apart.

Sipchen, who lauds the student newspaper staff for covering this story and indicates that they awarded those student reporters with “student journalism awards,” then quotes those same students as being outraged by Iversen’s actions. Butter up your sources with prizes and then get quotes to support your opinion. How is that legal?

Incidentally, the one non-student journalist quoted in Sipchen’s piece stood by Iversen and supported his findings. Probably because Iversen’s claims are true. Its time to stop trying to convince ourselves that everything is okay.

Sipchen’s column exemplifies the very reason why our public school system is in such disarray. The moment you hear something that is unpleasant to think about, you go and shoot the messenger instead of taking in the information and doing something about it–just like the friend who never talks to you again after you tell her that her boyfriend is cheating. Nothing is going to be solved in this way. The longer our heads are in the sand, the dumber our kids are going to get. I think Sipchen has done his community a big disservice by not taking Iversen’s findings seriously.

And, yes, I am just pissed that I didn’t get laid in high school!

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10 Responses to “Burying Head in Sand 101”

  1. slaghammer Says:

    Hi Doc, the high school that I graduated from in the late ’70s was an open-air drug bazaar and bordello. I think I would have called it quits in my junior year if not for that. In any case, with the imminent closure of our borders, it is important that we produce our own population of unskilled laborers. Those strawberries are not going to pick themselves.

  2. Dr. Blogstein Says:

    Slagger: You make me guffaw out loud. I’m becoming a huge Slag fan!

  3. Ra Ra Ra Bunggio Says:

    Uh… the real issue here isn’t in the high schools. Look at the Middle schools, the girls are dressing just as slutty… they’re prostitots. The Middle Schools are where all these things start… High School just kind of amplifies it. And no my highschool really isn’t that bad. An excess of Juggalos is the main problem here.

  4. R2K Says:

    I dont know how much it has changed since my days (class of 2000), but when I left it was pretty wild at times. Freshmen were having sex and going to parties with alcohol and drugs. I always thought that was a bit much. But being a man, I really dont mind freshmen women getting in the mix.

  5. Dr. Blogstein Says:

    Ra Ra Ra: By “Juggalos” are you saying that Insane Clown Posse is the main problem in your high school?

    Alex: Its no wonder Jeremy Iversen wanted to go back to high school. I think I want to do the same. Sounds like fun.

  6. Lux Lisbon Says:

    i’m no expert by any means but it seem that parents of the last decade are so fucking worried about how their kids FEEL about everything that they forgot to dicipline the brats and make them responsible for their actions. the pedulum swung too far. it’s time for it to swing back a bit.
    (and yes, i am a parent)

  7. Dr. Blogstein Says:

    Good comment, Lux. But can the pedulum swing back when every parent’s reaction is apathy due to “Not my child” Sydrome?

  8. Miss Cellania Says:

    Last decade? You ARE a young’un! I was in high school in the early 70s (don’t laugh). I dressed that way at 13. Drugs were rampant. Parents had their heads in the sand. The only difference now is the technology involved.

  9. R2K Says:

    ICP is the shit.

  10. Dr. Blogstein Says:

    did you catch them on Howard Stern on MOnday?

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