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By Jeremy Schiffres, Daily and Sunday Freeman, Kingston, N.Y.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

The times have a-changed

THIS WAS e-mailed to me today by a high school classmate of mine (1977-81). It’s meant to be funny, but much of it falls under the heading “sad but true.”

1958 vs. 2008

SCENARIO: Jack goes quail hunting before school, pulls into school parking lot with shotgun in gun rack.
1958: Vice principal comes over, looks at Jack's shotgun, goes to his car and gets his own shotgun to show Jack.
2008: School goes into lockdown, FBI called, Jack hauled off to jail and never sees his truck or gun again. Counselors called in to help traumatized students and teachers.

SCENARIO: Johnny and Mark get into a fistfight after school.
1958: Crowd gathers. Mark wins. Johnny and Mark shake hands and end up buddies.
2008: Police called, SWAT team arrives, Johnny and Mark arrested. Both are charged with assault and suspended, even though Johnny started it.

SCENARIO: Jeffrey won't sit still in class, disrupts other students.
1958: Jeffrey sent to office and given good paddling by principal. Returns to class, sits still and does not disrupt class again.
2008: Jeffrey is tested for ADD and given Ritalin. School gets extra money from state because Jeffrey has a disability.

SCENARIO: Billy breaks a window in his neighbor's car, and his dad gives him a whipping with his belt.
1958: Billy is more careful next time, grows up normal, goes to college and becomes a successful businessman.
2008: Billy's dad is arrested for child abuse. Billy sent to foster care and joins a gang. State psychologist tells Billy's sister that she remembers being abused herself. Dad goes to prison.

SCENARIO: Mark has a headache and takes some aspirin to school.
1958: Mark shares aspirin with principal at school’s outdoor smoking area.
2008: Police called. Mark expelled from school for drug violation. Car searched for drugs and weapons.

SCENARIO: Johnny takes apart leftover firecrackers from Fourth of July, puts them in a model airplane paint bottle, blows up an ant hill.
1958: Ants die.
2008: Homeland Security, FBI and ATF called. Johnny charged with domestic terrorism, FBI investigates parents, siblings removed from home, computers confiscated, Johnny's dad goes on a terror watch list and is never allowed to fly again.

SCENARIO: Johnny falls while running during recess and hurts his knee. He is found crying by his teacher, Mary. Mary hugs him to comfort him.
1958: In a short time, Johnny feels better and goes on playing.
2008: Mary is accused of being a sexual predator, loses her job and goes to prison. Johnny undergoes five years of therapy, and his parents file multimillion-dollar lawsuit against school for “pain and suffering.”



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