Catholic Culture Resources
Catholic Culture Resources

A Thought Experiment

By Diogenes ( articles ) | Feb 21, 2004

Imagine a large suburban high school whose faculty and administration (considered a unity for present purposes) devises a series of programs to deal with the problem of student drug dealers. After some months of very mixed results it happens that a faculty member himself is arrested for selling drugs; then another; then two more in quick succession.

At a certain point the public will begin to feel, not only that the faculty is neglecting the students' interests, but that the core problem is within its own ranks. But at what point?

Suppose further certain complicating factors: That faculty members in almost every case are recruited and hired on the recommendation of two or three faculty acquaintances. That the faculty has for years been eerily ambivalent on the morality of recreational drug use. That students who complained that faculty had used or dealt drugs were often ignored, often reviled, and invariably saddled with such a high burden of proof that not a single student- or parent-initiated complaint resulted in disciplinary action against a faculty member. Ever.

Suppose that many of the student drug dealers were widely known to be teacher's pets. That many faculty members had been aware of student drug dealing but ignored it. That the pressure on the faculty to resolve the problem came entirely from outside its ranks, from clean students and parents themselves. That even this pressure was successfully resisted until law enforcement and media took notice of unconcealable crimes. That dealer students, when disciplined, were often given shockingly lenient punishments.

Suppose that it was wholly unknown for the faculty to identify and expel one of its own for drug use. That in every single case the faculty drug dealers were discharged only after an arrest by police or after overwhelmingly disgraceful media exposure.

Gives you a funny feeling inside, doesn't it?

Now imagine this. Not only does the faculty give absolutely zero indication that there is a problem that needs fixing in its own ranks, but it continues to speak exclusively -- without exception -- of a problem "out there," among the students, and continues to speak of itself as the perfectly obvious body to effect the cure.

Thankfully, no such school exists, or could exist. Education, after all, requires a measure of trust.

Sound Off! supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a current donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

There are no comments yet for this item.