You know what? I really don't remember what it was like as an "almost teen-ager", other than I was most concerned about my face, my lack of "boobies", all sorts of social problems that exist today, as well, but back 50-60 years ago, those problems were at the forefront. Today, it seems, they are almost secondary to the seeming constant bombardment on all sides from what I might almost describe as "incessant" battering/badgering/interjecting/interfering by the media --- and, yes, I am including the Internet!
Whom is an adolescent to believe? Their peers? Their teachers? Their parents? Their beloved Internet? "Reality" TV shows?
I heard a story recently that inspired this writing. (The story, by the way, is true. Sometimes, I think, when people hear that it is a "story", they automatically assume that it is "made up". This story is not made up, O.K?)
It seems that a pre-teen, when quizzed about how school was going, responded that --- in her History class (the class was talking about the current Presidential election campaign) --- her teacher had suggested that Obama was a spy for the terrorists ... ... ... ... !!!???
Surely NOT, you question. Now, tho, it appears that said pre-teen couldn't really remember what was actually said, who said it... not sure, but she thinks her teacher said it wasn't true ... that Obama was only one example. One example of WHAT, for crying out loud!!
Same pre-teen could not remember any of the other candidates discussed, or what was said about them. Is that to be expected, or what?!
Unfortunately, I believe, many (if not most) adults today would utter some of the same comments! I have been recently reading blog/post sites that are (to say the least!) disturbing. How should I expect a still-to-be-formed young person to try & cull it all out, when I --- as a supposed adult --- have problems.
I believe that a letter to the school district involved is called for. This should be a discreet inquiry, but one that, in my opinion, should not be left un-addressed.
As a public school teacher for nearly twenty years, I was ALWAYS aware that what I said (or did) might influence young minds for many years to come. Perhaps this young person was simply "dozing" in class (thinking of her"whatevers"). Perhaps the teacher actually did utter some unthinking comments, really unaware of the potential import/damage they might cause.
Perhaps same pre-teen was influenced in her remarks by whatever other influences might have been going on in her life ... parents/friends/TV programs/Internet ... whatever prompted her statements must not go unnoticed, in my opinion.