Saturday, April 14, 2012

Vindication

Last year I had trouble with several LDS students. These teenagers are the kids that people at church want their sons and daughters to grow up to be; however, I know a very different set of teenagers at school. Don't get me wrong, they are still the same polite, "modestly" dressed, faithful Mormons at school, but there has always been something manipulative, judgemental, and entitled about they way they behave at school that people at church do not see.

I was actually pretty close to these students when I was YW President and several of them were in my class. It was in my class that I noticed that these kids are not exactly what they appeared to be. I had several run-ins with these students over integrity, honesty, and character issues. They would get mad if they got a bad grade, they would not turn in assignments, and they would blame me for both. I won't go into details, but, needless to day, I became very saddened by the fact that the students I thought I knew never really existed. They placed a careful facade over their true selves, and under pressure those facade's began to fade. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't that they did anything huge to make me think this way. It was the small things. (Okay, there were some HUGE entitlement issues with these kids).But it was the subtle manipulations of things around them that really got me watching them. And boy, what I saw was HUGE! But, I did not talk about these things with anyone but another teacher. She noticed them, too, but we thought we were the only ones.

For the longest time I thought she and I would be the only ones to see this behavior, but yesterday I learned that we are not. THE WHOLE SCHOOL SEES THEM FOR WHAT THEY ARE! In a meeting about academic awards, one teacher mentioned these students as nominees, and to my surprise, almost every teacher that has taught them, said "no" for one reason or another. The responses were all similar...character, integrity, honesty. I was shocked, but I felt so vindicated. Their carefully constructed facade was not a facade at all.

I feel bad to say that I am happy in this fact, but it is not that I am happy, it is that I feel vindicated. People at church would always ask why I was not a fan of these students, and I always avoided the question (for many reasons). People would go on about how these students are excellent examples of "the youth of today" and that it must be so wonderful to have such "honest and Mormon" kids in my class. To that I always stated, that I have many students, and many non-LDS students, who have more integrity, class, and character than many LDS students...that usually ended the conversation pretty quickly.

I am sad for what this might make students think about LDS in our community, but grateful to know that I am not the only person who was not fooled by these students.

1 comment:

Wendy Williams said...

Interesting food for thought. How many of us have a "church" face and an "away from church" face? I hope not me, but how can we know for sure???