Tuesday, April 26, 2005

High School Cinfidential

Meet Amy. She blogs on a lot of the current events that catch my eye and those of the friends on my blogroll. What sets her apart is that she's a high school student. We all have stories to tell, about trying to live with values that don't quite mesh with our peer groups (in my case, a generally liberal/progressive newsroom). In Amy's case, it's high school, which, if you cast your mind back to that era, you'll recall with a shudder.

Like this morning, I was in French 2 and we were playing a jeopardy style game. The boy in question had his vocabulary sheet out and was reading to two different teams the necessary answers. He is the popular jock in the class, if reduced to the typical stereotypes. He wants it that way.

The teacher asked if someone had been cheating, and I went up after class and told her quietly what I knew. Unfortunately for me, she immediately singled him out and told him not to do it again — a warning was all — and I was standing next to her.

"Did you tell?" He asked me incredulously.

I saw no sense in lying: "yes".

He got very mad, asked why. I replied: "it’s wrong and dishonorable, and you shouldn’t get away with it."

Him: It’s just a game!

His Friend: He was helping you guys [my team] out too!

Me: So? It’s still wrong!

Him: God, it’s just a frickin’ game! Supposed to be fun!

Me: It’s not fun when people cheat. And it’s not like you learn anything.

So, now I am the official rat of the class, condemned socially, and shunned. Well, just another day at school.

It’s hard, sometimes. To do stuff like that. I know it’s going to make things very difficult for me, considering his posse of jocks. But I’m not going to apologize for doing the right thing. He wasn’t punished. Hopefully he won’t do it again, at least in that class, because he knows I’m watching. Maybe he might learn something in French. But if none of that happens, it’s okay. Because I had enough respect for him to say: "that’s wrong, and it’s not okay." C’est la vie, as they say.