Cultural Revolutions

It’s a Drag

That characteristic feature of our age, the impressively feckless adolescent indulged by a craven and cynical media, reared its head this past October 15 in the rural community of Randle, Washington.  For reasons known only to themselves, the authorities at the 188-student White Pass High School invited their charges to attend class that particular morning dressed as their favorite celebrities.  Chronicles readers may not be surprised to learn that the young people tended to favor the more lurid end of the show-business spectrum when adopting their livery.  I saw photographs of some of the costumes, and the thought struck me that we should all pause and consider life without a continued supply of comparatively sane teachers, as opposed to those who embrace a kind of corrosive babyishness masquerading as empathy, hipness, and novelty.  No wonder, I thought, that when children today leave school, few of them leave childhood behind.  They’ve never been told to grow up.

But the reason the Randle debacle stands out isn’t because it serves as an example of all that is patronizing and depressing in our modern high schools.  It’s because two male tenth-grade students who chose to appear on campus clad as female celebrities were sent home.  Again, readers may not be amazed to learn that the “celebrities” in question were of the more evanescent variety—one boy came...

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