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Giving wolves a bad name.

I really hate lies. Lies make the world so…diminished. I’m not talking about the “little white lies” that we use to not hurt someone’s feelings, although those can be pretty dreadful, too. I’m talking about the big whoppers that put people’s lives, time, and trust at risk. Lies are as old as time. I’m also not talking about stories that everyone knows is a story and is enjoying. I’m talking about intentional, deceitful, “I am knowingly trying to pull one over on other people” lies. I have students who are so in the habit of lying, they don’t even know it. The first thing out of their mouths when they’re answering a question is a lie. Example: Me to student: “Please change your laptop screen–(laptop screen is filled with gang/street imagery)–you are only allowed to have a solid color, or our mascot.” “No way, Mrs. L! Another teacher told me…blah blah blah blah…” Since other teachers are even more strict than I am, I am CONFIDENT another teacher did not say it was okay to have those images on her laptop. One. Hundred. Percent.  I had one student whom I said hello to in the courtyard before class, and then when she was tardy, proceeded to tell me the bus was late. Um, yeah…the bus may have been late (it wasn’t — we hear announcements) but apparently you weren’t ON IT BECAUSE I SAID HELLO TO YOU IN THE COURTYARD FIFTEEN MINUTES AGO!

(Deep breath.)

Now, there’s the news story out of Colorado about the crazy dad who told everyone his little boy was up in a balloon. I only listened to this story from the peripheral (sidelines), but when I heard more details I was horrified. The parents must be devastated! If I lost one of my children, I would never recover. Teachers who have lost students are never totally the same. I am not being dramatic when I tell you it breaks your heart.

And then it came out that this dad was lying, it was a hoax. 

What should happen to parents who make their children play a part in a nationwide, no–worldwide– deception? Who manipulate the media in this way?

As my husband said, ‘We (people in general) want to help those in danger. How are we going to want to keep doing that, having a moral and ethical reaction when some one’s really in danger?”

Take care, students — this is why your parents and teachers want you to be a “critical thinker.” Don’t take part in the lies that undermine the trust.

I trust you now, too–don’t lie to me. I want to help you when you’re in danger, of any kind. Especially if you’re being dangerous to yourself.

Read this fable, and compare it to the modern news story:

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