At my school today, they are running the Fatal Choices, Shattered Dreams program. It's a fascinating "reinactment" in order to shock students away from drinking and driving-- an opportunity for them to consider the consequences. Car crash is simulated. They do the albumance, police, care flight... the whole thing. Lots of fake blood. Every 15 minutes, they play a "beating heart" over the PA. (Every 15 minutes, a life is taken by drinking and driving...) And so on.
I'm not going to judge the program or it's usefulness. However, I wonder: Using fear tactics seem to be the antithesis of an education program. True education means we don't resort to fear and violence as method of pedagogy. But yet, we teachers have made a fine career out of scaring our students. "If you don't pass English, you'll never amount to anything." "If you don't do well on your SATs, you'll never get into a good college." "If you don't understand Shakespeare, how do you ever expect to do well your senior year?" "If you don't dress right, act right, learn right, you will be punished." "You need to study every night or else you'll fail!"
I love teaching, because we offer society the hope of a non-violent means to resolve conflict. Fear is a form of violence. It seems like on television and in the government-- fear is in. Or have we always been this afraid? And how can I teach scared students?
Maybe this is my problem with religion? So much of it involves making people afraid.