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When Happy Thoughts Are Valued More Than True

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When Judge Standley talked frankly with Clear Springs High School kids about drug abuse, the school administration and MADD got their panties in a twist. So did some kids, but their protestations have an Eddie Haskell sound to them. (See also this and this.)

I wonder if the adults would have felt any differently knowing that this guy and his customers were in the room.

Probably not. Americans are so damn delusional about their kids and drugs (see also "sex"): they think that if they pretend that they never did drugs when they were kids, their kids won't do drugs. Horseshit. Kids are going to do what they want. If they want to do drugs (like because mom and dad do drugs-and chances are that they do: prescription pills, ethanol, marijuana, nicotine, caffeine) they're going to do drugs.

I never tried anything heavier than laughing gas (I know, I'm so uncool) and I rarely use alcohol or prescription meds or caffeine and never smoke anything, but I will not be at all surprised if my kids push the boundaries of experimentation farther than I did. Not ecstatic, but not surprised.

I won't be surprised if your kids do, either (nor ecstatic, if that makes you feel better). Pretending they won't doesn't make it any less likely; in fact, by not confronting the unpleasant truth-especially if you're lying to your kids about your past and current drug use-you make it more likely. Talk honestly with your kids, and maybe they'll talk honestly with you. Try to bullshit them, and you might as well have left the building.

MADD and Clear Lake ISD wished that Judge Standley hadn't spoken with Clear Springs High School students as if they might actually decide to use drugs and he knew it. The school and MADD took the "don't confront the unpleasant truth" approach, which is politically popular, and likely supported by most Clear Springs High School parents. Grownups think that if they don't do drugs (except alcohol and prescription pills; those don't count) and have successfully concealed from their children the experimentation of their youth they can expect their children to do what they are told to do. In other words, they've forgotten what it was like to be a teenager.

So here's what all the "let's not confront the unpleasant truth, and let's shoot the messenger who does" gets Clear Springs High School:

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