Preparing Young Adults For Reality?
While visiting my parents in mid-june, I needed to go over to my former high school to get a copy of my transcripts for a security clearance I was getting.
The area has changed drastically in the 39 years since I graduated and what was once a quiet, blue-collar community with several active farms, is now mostly an affluent magnet for “McMansions” and a very up-scale suburb of New York City.
When I arrived at the school, I had to check in, provide my DL and have a name badge made, complete with my picture on it. I was directed to the guidance department and upon arriving I was greeted by a sign that warned me that if I didn’t have a guest name badge to not even think about coming in. (Now, I don’t know how someone could do that as there was a security officer at the entrance, who took my ID and an armed, School Resource Officer at a desk right behind him). Luckily, I complied with the rules.
There was also a “Safe Space” decal on the window. Safe from what?. . . being called names?. . . being picked on because you dress in a way that’s intended to make you stand out?. . .safe from tornado’s?. . . safe from teachers disciplining you because you don’t do your homework?. . . safe from not feeling loved because you only drive an Audi A-6 in your junior year in HS and you need to talk to someone who will understand? (pardon the sarcasm, please)
So the students have a safe place to go to, but upon graduating, and depending on where/if they go to college, they will enter a world where their only safe place is where they call home.
The real world, at least the one I live in, is concerned with effort and results, not feelings.
I don’t blame the kids because they just showed up. I blame the feel good/do good educators, coaches and parents that gave kids awards for just showing up and told them they were special and perfect just the way they are.
Get ready graduates, you have probably seen your last “Safe Space” decal.