As you doubtless already know, what sounds like the worst high school in the world first banned a lesbian student and her date from the prom, then cancelled the prom when the ACLU got involved, then reinstated the prom in face of public and legal pressure…a prom which was only attended by the lesbians and a 5 learning disabled students. The rest of the kids went to a private party that was in no way, shape, or form a prom, except that they titled their photo albums on Facebook “Prom 2010” but that doesn’t really mean anything, now does it?
Anyway, a great deal of virtual ink has been spilled about this, and I have very little to add. This seems to me like a toxic interaction between teenage social brutality and small-minded parental bigotry, where the parents encouraged their kids to act like total assholes because the targets of exclusion and bullying were non-human to them.
I’m sure that, even in the set of bratty 17-year-olds who went to the “private party”, there are some that aren’t really all that bad, that are quite nice if you talk to them, that would never do something like that on their own. I’m sure there are some who will feel really bad about it in a few years – maybe who feel really bad about it now – and a few who will try to contact Constance someday and apologize.
But you know what?
*digression which will soon be proven to be on point*
Checking the stats, I just noticed that one of the search terms someone found this blog by was “Mrs Marentette”. Mrs Marentette was my Grade 5 teacher, and possibly the nicest person I’ve ever met. (She came to the London Eckhardt-Grammate recital in 2008, and I mentioned it in the tour blog, which explains the search term.) Mrs. Marentette had a particular fondness for very bad jokes, which she referred to as “groaners”. One of her favourite ones was:
Q: How are people like teabags?
A: You only find out what they’re really like when you put them in hot water.
Which is absolutely true – no matter what fine promises and bold stands you take when things are easy, your true character only comes through when you’re put to the test.
And those nice kids – the ones who wouldn’t be mean to Constance and her fellow outcasts to their faces, the ones who just went along with everyone else – they just had their test. And they failed.