This was sort of a segway to my next topic. In my school (as many I'm sure) there have been recent accounts of "paddling". Or as my Senior Teacher said "They call it paddling, but basically, they kicked the shit out of these kids". It's sick. A couple of the kids actually had to go to the hospital.
The first account of paddling I learned about on September 12th. In theatre, we were talking about the WTC tragedy, and Carl started into the hazing issue. Over that previous weekend, a bunch of seniors had gone around and picked up freshman and beat them up. This was the only class I heard about it in. No other teacher even acknowledged the event.
Yesterday, while walking from physics to english, I over heard a conversation between a guy and this girl. The guy had said, "So what if they get paddled. Afterwards, we get them drunk as hell." I didn't see the guy who was talking about it, but it disturbed be because it meant that there was probably another round of hazing. Then, when I got into english, my teacher had asked a football player in the room if he knew anyone connected to the paddling. The kid said no. But that was the last of it. Not even my english teacher, who is very cool, and the sponsor of activities like Aware, and is affiliated with Reach and Care. (these are kind of like their names say. They are semi-activist groups that learn and discuss important events and topics from around the world). It made me extremely disappointed that none of the teachers (if they even knew what was going on) didn't say anything.
A couple years ago, they implemented these things called Processing Groups. They would call a processing group meeting about 4 times a year, and any time that it seemed important. I had a good one, because it was through Freshman advisories (which was chorus for me). I really enjoyed it. Last year, they changed format and groups. We were now in Dialog Groups, which is ironic because my group never had dialog. It sucked more than any group should have sucked. I was in a group with the most shallow and North Shore people ever. Thus, I didn't benefit from anything we did (not that we did anything. We never once had a discussion about important events). This year, because of the negative reaction to the groups, we just aren't having them. We didn't meet after the WTC nor did we meet to discuss hazing. It makes me kind of upset.
I could probably join Aware or Care to be more involved and in touch with these problems, but I'm already involved with the theatre program, and I can't make the afterschool meetings. I guess there's nothing I can do, really, I just wish more teachers would address important topics.
"There's a fine line between tradition and trash" - from the Company-written spring play last year about hazing.