August 31, 2007

School Daze: Then and Now


[In email this morning from one of my tireless correspondents, this lovely comparison of the way we live now versus the "bad old days." You decide.]

1. Scenario: Jack goes quail hunting before school, pulls into school parking lot with shotgun in gun rack.

1957 - Vice principal comes over to look at Jack's shotgun. He goes to his car and gets his shotgun to show Jack.

2007 - School goes into lock down, and FBI is called. Jack is hauled off to jail and never sees his truck or gun again. Counselors called in for traumatized students and teachers.

2. Scenario: Johnny and Mark get into a fist-fight after school.

1957 - Crowd gathers. Mark wins. Johnny and Mark shake hands and end up best friends.

2007 - Police called. SWAT team arrives. Johnny and Mark are arrested and charged with assault. Both are expelled even though Johnny started it.

3. Scenario: Jeffrey won't be still in class, disrupts other students.

1957 - Jeffrey sent to office and given a good paddling by the principal. He returns to class, sits still, and does not disrupt class again.

2007 - Jeffrey is diagnosed with ADD and given huge doses of Ritalin. Becomes a zombie. School gets extra money from state because Jeffrey has a learning disability.

4. Scenario: Billy breaks a window in his neighbor's car and his Dad gives him a whipping with his belt.

1957 - Billy is more careful next time, grows up, goes to college, and becomes a successful businessman.

2007 - Billy's dad is arrested for child abuse. Billy is placed in foster care and joins a gang. State psychologist tells Billy's sister that she remembers being abused herself, and their dad goes to prison. Billy's mom has affair with psychologist.

5. Scenario: Mark gets a headache and takes some aspirin to school.

1957 - Mark shares aspirin with principal out on the smoking dock.

2007 - Police called. Mark is expelled from school for drug violations. Car is searched for drugs and weapons.

6. Scenario: Pedro fails high school English.

1957 - Pedro goes to summer school, passes English, goes to college.

2007 - Pedro's cause is taken up by state. Newspaper articles appear nationally explaining that teaching English as a requirement for graduation is racist. ACLU files class action lawsuit against state school system and Pedro's English teacher. English banned from core curriculum. Pedro is given a diploma anyway but ends up mowing lawns for a living because he cannot speak English.

7. Scenario: Johnny takes apart leftover firecrackers from 4th of July, puts them in a model airplane paint bottle, blows up a red ant bed.

1957 - Ants die.

2007 - Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Homeland Security, and FBI called. Johnny is charged with domestic terrorism. The FBI investigates parents; siblings are removed from home; computers confiscated. Johnny's dad goes on a terror watch list and is never allowed to fly again.

8. Scenario: Johnny falls while running during recess and scrapes his knee. He is found crying by his teacher, Heather. Heather hugs him to comfort him.

1957 - In a short time, Johnny feels better and goes on playing.

2007 - Heather is accused of being a sexual predator and loses her job. She faces three years in state prison. Johnny undergoes five years of therapy.

Johnny sues Heather and the school, settles for $2.5 Million.

Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):

Posted by Vanderleun at August 31, 2007 8:34 AM | TrackBack
Save to


"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

You don't have to go back that far, even here in the People's Republic. Year: 1969 Location: San Luis Obispo, CA - Science teacher brings M1 Garand in to school, and kids get hunter safety course over lunch. Kids pass exam (including a Saturday visit to the National Guard range for the practical) and go out hunting with their dads, everyone goes home gun safe and happy (except of course for the critters, which we ate). I still have the certificate, with Mr. Wartena's signature, nearly 40 years later.

Posted by: RKV at August 31, 2007 10:40 AM

Tha vast majority of my high school football team carried their shotguns in their trunks and hunted pheasents on the way home from school. 40 years and things change.

Posted by: BP at August 31, 2007 10:55 AM

#8 - There were no teachers named Heather in 1957. In fact, as far as I remember, and I was a student in 1957, teachers did not have first names.

And yes, in 1957, we played Dodge Ball every day at recess, when we weren't playing the dreaded tag.

And in my 6th grade Citizenship Class, the local Police Chief came in to talk to us and passed his gun, sans bullets, around for us all to handle and look at. We also had the Pro from the Country Club come in to teach us how to slow dance. I was used by him for demonstration purposes because I was the tallest girl. He demonstrated how to hold a girl real close, real close, in a way that wasn't so tight as to hamper breathing, he then demonstrated where and where not to put your hands. The where nots would get a teacher arrested today.

Posted by: Pal2Pal at August 31, 2007 3:00 PM

In 1969, in Calgary Canada, at St. Mary's Boys' High, the French teacher disciplined us with a yardstick to the head. Biology teacher, Mr. McGraw, ex-USMC, picked us up by collar and belt and rammed our heads into nearest convenient object until he deemed we were disciplined. The phys-ed teacher, Davy Butts, a 5 foot nothing hockey goalie and Golden Gloves man invited discipline problems to the 'Combatitives Room' and offered them the first punches. None ever landed on Butts - plenty on the discipline problem.

We all learned more, and faster from the tough and physical teachers than anyone else.

I almost forgot father Moran who could throw a piece of chalk, and larger objects, and hit you between the eyes and in the middle of your forehead from 30 feet. And did. Often.

Best days of my life.

Posted by: BlacquesJacquesShellacques at August 31, 2007 3:29 PM

Great entry -- as someone who's been around 54 years, I'd say your e-mailer pretty much nailed it. ..bruce..

Posted by: bfwebster at September 1, 2007 12:17 AM

In the 50's teachers certainly did not have first names, but they did have courtesy titles: Mr.,Mrs, or Miss.

Posted by: scattershot at September 1, 2007 8:40 AM

Heck, I graduated high school in 1986 and some the creative writing stories my friends and I produced today would have had me arrested and my face and name up on CNN News with words like "death threats" and "hit lists". We wrote stories about heroically saving our school (with guns!) from hoards of alien and zombie teachers which our teachers thought were funny. Today the heros would be the teachers who stopped a "school massacre" by turning over our stories to the police.

Posted by: g.scott at September 2, 2007 11:27 PM

Pal2Pal: You would be almost correct about "Heather." Go here: and type in "Heather" to see what you get. Or, her parents could have been "first adapters."

Posted by: marjh at September 3, 2007 5:38 PM

You forgot an important scenario.

1957: Jimmy is hounded by fellow classmates while walking down the hallway. They laugh at how skinny he is, snicker at his pants that are too short, and his haircut that is visibly out of style. Jimmy walks away with his head down while heading to the next class. At the 30 year class reunion he gets the ultimate revenge. Jimmy is a very successful businessman with over 300 employees.

2007: Taking the 'walk of shame' down the hallway one last time, Jimmy puts into motion a plan of revenge that leave 4 teachers and 13 students dead. Jimmy feels vindicated.

Posted by: james at September 4, 2007 9:59 AM

Some of you clowns think this sh** is funny.

It is not.

That "The world was a better place when ________" means that the world has degraded. We as a society are no better in any measure for being sissified and pu***-whipped.

Speaking of P-whipped: The socialist left will not rest until HRC is the President of the United States. That concept makes me nauseous. Just like the "Remember When" articles do.

Dan Patterson
Arrogant Infidel

Posted by: Dan Patterson at September 4, 2007 10:02 AM

Heavy sigh ... tell me how technology has improved our lives again? Tell me how rights came to outweigh responsibility? Tell me now. How do we teach our children to think critically without a common universal standard against which to criticize? Tell me how our foundations have crumbled away and how we sold our security for fear and our ability to communicate for the right to speak? Tell me, in whom can we find any hope?

Mark The Arrow

Simplicity does not always signify a lack of sophistication.

Posted by: Not Mark at September 4, 2007 12:32 PM

And all this because we sacrificed our personal rights at the alter of political correctness and listened to lawyers instead of preachers. We elected criminals to run our country because we were greedy and thought they would give us more(think Democrats). We went to war because we knew it was the right thing to do, but then didnt give the generals on the field the ability to do thier job because some a special building the enemy used might be destroyed. We allowed a culture of drugs,violence, gangs and sex to pervade every part of our media. We allowed the criminal element in this country to thrive and take political power to make and change the rules of the game. Thats why my childhood was better than my childrens. At least I can still take my kids hunting!

Posted by: Sergeant Friendly at September 5, 2007 5:58 AM


Already in the mid '70's the more "progressive" states were imposing their socialist agenda on everyone. In the mid 70's Massachusetts passed draconian gun leftislation, giving a MANDITORY 2 year jail sentence to ANYONE who violated it. If you didn't have a permit, you couldn't own or transport a gun or you WOULD go to jail.

I remember an incident in my home town of Northampton where a National Guardsman was transporting some unloaded weapons from one location to another under orders from his superior officer. Some cop saw him and arrested him because he didn't personally have the proper state permit. He ended up getting off, but they originally had every intention of putting him in jail. And this was '75 or '76!

And the ones who do this are always the Leftists who tell us they have to govern because otherwise those mean evil bad Right wing fascists are going to take over and impose a "big brother" government on everyone. But it isn't us who are the fascists, it's THEM!

Hitler was a Leftist, too. Just something to keep in mind next time you are in the voting booth.


Posted by: Yonason at September 6, 2007 10:08 AM

Oh wait, you forgot one.

Johnny goes to church and looks to his pastor for spiritual leadership. Pastor removes Johnny's pants and touches him inappropriately. Church leadership knows this full well, but turns a blind eye, eventually shipping the pastor off for another, hopefully decent pastor. Church has difficult time understanding connections between their backward dogma and sexual abuse. Things continue as they do for another couple of decades or so. Sometimes the repressed abusive nature is passed on through the abused. No one talks about it.

Posted by: Tim at October 17, 2007 10:35 AM

comment from reddit by contrarian:
cenario: Johnny is gay.

1957: Johnny is beaten regularly. Everyone turns a blind eye. Kills himself in his late 20s.

2007: Students taught to accept Johnny, bullies are severely punished. Becomes life partner with captain of wrestling.

Scenario: Leroy is black.

1957: Leroy doesn't go to this school and never will.

2007: Leroy is going to college when he graduates.

Scenario: Timmy can't read.

1957: Timmy drops out. Works in the factory. Gets married, spends most of adult life at a bar.

2007: Timmy is dyslexic. Gets counseling. Goes to college.

Scenario: Michael is bullied.

1957: Kills himself quietly by hanging himself. Nobody cares.

2007: Goes berserk, killing 4 classmates and a teacher. CNN describes it as a senseless tragedy.

things weren't all dandy in the 50s.

Posted by: reid at October 18, 2007 9:00 PM

This article has shown me that if our country is to be peaceful and prosperous, we must surely return to the mos maiorum

Posted by: Steven C at October 18, 2007 9:30 PM

"Ah,those were the days."
Well, today's one of those days.
There's no time like the present. It's a present.
Whatever you have to do, do it now.

Posted by: Alex at October 18, 2007 11:33 PM

Lame Boomer nostalgia. 1957 produced the most selfish, short-sighted generation in the history of the country. Guess whose fault 2007 is? Thanks a lot, assholes.

Posted by: a at October 19, 2007 12:37 AM

Responding to the comment from reddit by contrarian.

"1957: Johnny is beaten regularly. Everyone turns a blind eye. Kills himself in his late 20s.

2007: Students taught to accept Johnny, bullies are severely punished. Becomes life partner with captain of wrestling."

-2007: Students are of the same sheep-like, follow the leader, mentality they were in the 50's; thus, they beat him up, turn a blind eye, and generally don't fucking care.
Here's one...

1957: Matthew is bullied at home and at school. The counsilor pretends to give a fuck but tells everything to his parents and Matthew is removed from school for a beating of his life-enforcing the situation and the hopelssness of his life. Is actually caught cutting himself by a student at school-everybody turns a blind eye, nobody gives a fuck, Matthew runs away after a severe beating one day during a rough week. He grows up, invests in Microsoft during the 80's because he knows what computers did for the united forces back in world war 2, becomes filthy fucking rich, and flaunts his money around at his reunion and in front of his family. When they all turn in their steps and act as though they loved him; he tells them to fuck off.
2007: Matthew runs away after a horrible week and after a beating of his life, but is found, thrown into a youth shelter, ignored by the judge and D.A., made to do over a hundred hours of community service and is returned to his family-who beat him and treat him like shit until he FINALLY turns 18 and leaves. The abuse by family, peers, and the system of authority make it difficult for him to understand the rules of society and nearly impossible for him to understand 'normal' people for most of his life. The fact that the system worked him over makes it impossible for him to cope and even harder to rely upon that system. He struggles for many years before finally losing his mind. He disappears right before Christmas one year and is never heard from again. Nobody knows what happened to him. The blank sheet of paper he left with just his signature upon it confound everyone.

Posted by: dark hand at October 19, 2007 11:36 AM

You would be calling our superintendents naive if they didn't take the precautions they currently do, then this "comical" piece would be comparing what did happen to what could have happened.

Posted by: Sarah at October 19, 2007 2:18 PM
Post a comment:

"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated to combat spam and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

Remember personal info?