By now, everyone has heard the story about the two second graders performing oral sex on each other. One of my favorite blogs, Very Smart Brothas, had a post dedicated to it today. My co-workers and I have been talking about it during planning periods and after school. My friends have asked my take on it especially because I’m an educator. There has been shock and outrage and oodles of fingerpointing.

Yes, it shocked me, but not much.

See, I’m in the classroom everyday, and I have almost had to desensitize myself to the things that could bombard me and my eyes and ears on a daily basis, just to function. Hey, I’m almost happy if I find out that a female student is just having sex with one guy. You would be surprised at the conversations that I have intercepted. But I’m not…not anymore. Movies like Thirteen have shown that what is appropriate is now no longer the norm. And on top of that, I have to try and help them make sense of Romeo and Juliet? All I can do is stop the language and inappropriate conversation when I hear it, and report whatever comes my way…and pray.

This was touched on in Sex and the City. In Season 3, “Hot Child in the City” Samantha was hired to be the PR for a bat mitzvah. The young lady was turning 12, and clearly looked about 21. She and her friends had overtly sexual conversations. One girl stated, “I’d f*ck him…I’d f*ck him and his gay boyfriend.” Samantha, obviously the most risque of the group, felt compelled to step in and ask about their language and topic. She urged them to wait until they were older, saying they had “…the rest of their lives to talk that way.” The girls did not respond to her advances, telling her to “talk to the hand, grandma.” Samantha, at first, was jealous at all the girls had access to, but pitied them by the end of the episode because while they were exposed to so much, she had access to something they never had: a true childhood.

Atlanta recently had a snow week. I was so excited because of my first snowman and snow angel, even when I had to build it alone. Not one of my students attempted to go and play in it. None of them watch shows that seem appropriate to their age levels. There is no equivalent of “Salute Your Shorts” or “David the Gnome” (which, goes really hard btw) now. There is only “Southland” or “Real Housewives…” Long gone are playdates and sleepovers to watch movies and play games. Sleepovers now come as a result of leaving the club so late. Even to this moment, I know most, if not all, words to the songs of every Disney movie (Except the Great Mouse Detective…that one sucked.) I was more excited to see Tangled than most other movies that came out this year. Now granted, I am in a metro-area, but this is the case across the country. Children do not have the benefit of knowing the Preamble to the Constitution because of School House Rock, but know every line to Gucci Mane’s “Wasted”.

It’s one thing to be feel like you’re still a kid, but quite another to know you’re not one anymore. I wouldn’t trade those memories for anything in the world. So yes, someone will have to pay – probably the teacher who allegedly was present as the act occurred – but that act didn’t just start in the classroom. It probably started when a 7 year old wasn’t watching cartoons or helping someone bake cookies. And that, more than anything, is what hurts most.

Love,

-V

P.S. Just for the heck of it…get your law-making on… 🙂

Or your states and capitals… 🙂 (Shoutout to Baton Rouge, LA for being first!)

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