We had a “Graduation Awareness Week” assembly this morning which was supposed to take 30 – 40 minutes, but instead wasted my entire first period. They showed a video (“InsideOut”) of prison inmates (many of them serving Life without parole) talking about how they went wrong when they dropped out of school and how important reading is, etc. God knows, I hope that even one kid sitting in the auditorium got something out of it, but I doubt it. These “scared straight” things work so rarely. Haven’t you ever seen Maury? Teenagers think that they are different from everyone else; that they are invincible. They wont get pregnant or get an STD. They wont get killed driving drunk. They are too smart to get caught by the police. Ad nauseum.
The whole assembly just made my head hurt. We got back to class and (with about 2 minutes remaining in the period) I tentatively asked my 1st block what they thought.
“Aw man, boring.”
“What, do they think we can’t read?”
“Ms. W, why were all of the prisoners black?”
Oy. Thankfully the bell rang before I had to tackle that one.