Well I feel like an all day sucker! After an ‘independent investigation’ the mayor of Gloucester Massachusetts has denied the rumors, shown the school’s principal as having memory irregularities, and told TIME magazine in no particular terms, "liar, liar pants on fire"! Well, of course she did. The city can not bury their heads in the sand and hope this goes away. Their community has become the butt of many jokes over the course of the story breaking and they want to maintain some city dignity and pride. Under scrutiny the TIME article seems to be losing water, and losing it fast. Of course, there are means, motive, and opportunity here for Gloucester to bury their shattered city image, if you tend to believe in such things.
The Associated Press and the loathed NY Times have articles citing real reporting, you know… people going out and interviewing more then two or three people for collaboration and asking people on both sides of this issue what was going on. Still, we do not know who is involved and to what extent. There seems to be an ounce of truth to the tale, albeit two girls and not the 7 to 8 as originally thought. This is beginning to remind me more of the kids game ‘telephone’ then anything else. Now again, there is incentive for the city to get this story to go away, quickly and quietly, which was not going to happen if it stayed in the public spot light. So, now we have to question our rash rushes to judgment and phantom belief the press are full of professionals who will never do something to fabricate a story, you listening NY Times???
If the pact story turns out to be a rumor based off of two best friends silly promise and a reporters desperate attempt of gaining recognition and fame, well then it goes to show how far our reporting industry has continued to fall in the wave of false reported story they keep racking up year after year (eroding public trust and confidence, and people wonder why bloggers are gaining in credibility over ‘professional’ reporters). If the story turns out to be true, something that can only happen if the people involved come forward them selves to validate, then we have a better story of a city’s attempts to cover-up a public relations nightmare of its citizen’s behaviors and morals. Most likely the real truth will never be knows as our short attention spans jump on the next fascinating tid-bit to surface.
Still I stand by my original views of sex-ed being the parents’ responsibility and not the school’s. I don’t think having day care on a high school campus is a good idea as it sends an inconsistent message to the kids and is no better then having a licquor story in the lunch room that sells booze, smokes, and porn next to the condoms, birth control pills, and RU-486 style morning after pills. Parents should tell their kids about sex, its responsibilities and consequences, and leave sex-ed to discuss STD prevention and situational awarness and not letting yourself get into a bad situation in the first place. Schools are for learning, not an auxliary for a family planning helath clinic.
As a person who jumped on this story, I am guilty of proliferating the story and for that I deeply apologize as I do try not to have this happen. I do usually wait a few days or weeks to talk about something out of respect, the truth to emerge, and better coverage to inform my opinions. I jumped the gun, got burned, and deepened my cynicism of the general press and media in our great nation. With this being said, the Gloucester story was only an event that I was using to advance my agenda of pointing out our declining family values and need to strengthen our family relationships, commitments, and responsibilities. For this I can not, should not, and never will apologize as I know I am right.
Family is the core of any society. Its values are a society’s and show their virtue and strength. Ours has been in free fall since the 1950’s and I hope others see this as clearly as I do, and do something about it. Each of us has different levels of beliefs and values, but the core begins with the family and these need addressing, strengthening, and re-enforcing now more then ever, and now before the above story becomes real and a new national fad (once the genie is out of the bottle it is hard to get them back in and this would not be the first time a national story influenced a teen trend repeated for generations, school shooting jump to the front of my mind).
I wanted to use this story to highlight the need to discuss values, morals, personal and social responsibilities. I am still going to do this, and hopefully my foolish rush to judgment will not lessen the impression of importance and vital need for bringing these topics to the forefront of peoples minds, forums, and thoughts with themselves, families, and friends. I feel this is THE most important issue facing us, as a society and nation, today. You can not build a house on a weak foundation and expect it to stand, weather a storm, or endure the test of time. If our foundation is solid, strong, and enduring then we can survive anything that comes our way, even if we have to rebuild a part of or even the whole damn house if necessary.
A parting thought I want to share with my readers and friends, please take 10 to 15 minutes to think about values, morals, and beliefs. Write them down, search for them on Google, dictionary, or library. Identify the core ones, the personal ones, and the overall social ones. I will discuss them over the course of July and as the kids are home for summer break and we have long and warm days ahead we can take the time to reflect and think about what makes us what we are, why we are, and what is most important to us and then discuss with our families and close friends. Dedication, vigilance, and tenacity are what is needed to correct and protect what we have. You can only stray off the path so far before you become lost, once lost it is easy to become causality, and history is full of them.