I read about a Texas teenager who sat down to lunch at school, reached into his bag and discovered to his shock that he has accidentally grabbed a beer from the fridge, rather than a soda, when he packed his lunch.
This boy didn't want to get in trouble for having a beer in his possession and it was an honest mistake. So, what did he do?
Well, he took the responsible course of action, of course. He took the beer and gave it to a teacher and explained what had happened.
Good for him, right? He did the right thing. He told the truth. He trusted the authorities.
So, what did this good student get in return for his honest and responsible approach? Well, 2 months in an alternative school, of course.
Yes, you read that correctly, this young man got in trouble. So, what should he have done?
Well, apparently, he should have quickly put the beer back in his lunchbox, closed the lunchbox and concealed the beer until he could get back home and put it in his fridge and not speak one word of it to anyone. Clearly, he should not have trusted his teachers or other authoritarian figure there at school and he should not have done the "right" thing by being truthful.
My first thought was what a terrible lesson to teach our school kids. And then, I decided no, unfortunately, it's a good lesson to learn.
Unfortunately, this is a lesson that must be learned at some point in life. Unfortunately, this is the way the world works.
Unfortunately, many people will never apply the rules based on logic and sensibility. Unfortunately, many people cannot see the forest for the trees when it comes to being rational and comprehending a situation. And unfortunately, being open and honest about a situation that could be concealed without deception or harm to anyone is not always the route to take.
Instead, simply remaining silent is often the course of action to be followed in such a situation. Self-preservation is sometimes the way to think. Leaving well enough alone is fine.
And now this boy has learned these essons from his school.
Of course, he has probably also learned a lesson in resentment, narrow-mindedness, bureaucracy, regret, trust, isolation, and many other things in those 2 months of punishment spent away from his school, friends, perhaps sports and other extracurricular activities, etc. all for the crime of telling the truth and coming forward, even though he didn't have to.
I am sure this kid will think twice now before telling the truth and stepping up to explain a situation or trusting his teachers, instructors, superiors, co-workers, bosses, etc. Ah, the education system at its finest.
Yes, this lesson is one we all learn at some point in life. You can't trust everyone and not everyone looks at things the way you do or has the ability to fully comprehend a situation; sometimes silence is best for all points in a particular circumstance. However, this is a hard and crusty lesson to teach a high school student trying to do the right thing.
They could have taught him that he was in a place of trust and respect and that he had done the right thing by seeking help from a teacher. They could have taught him that logic and good common sense will always rule the day, especially in a school. They could have taught him that he can always trust his teachers to aid him when he needs guidance, but they didn't.
So, parents, teach your children well. Coming forward with truth and honesty is not always the best course of action, unfortunately… Over and out…