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Now, like many geniuses, I worried about the lockdowns impact on kids and teens. And I don’t even like kids or teens. For the same reason I don’t like college students. They don’t know what they’re talking about and they always need money. Sounds like a Democrat!
God: Nice red meat joke! Greg way to know your audience.
But I figured lacking interaction with their peers would hurt their ability to communicate and cooperate. Plus they forget to bathe and floss, so they smell like a chunk of gorgonzola. Just kidding. Nobody flosses, right Kat?
Plus, they lose a year of education. But considering what they’re being taught – that could be a plus. I mean, how are they gunna learn how racist they are, while not learning math?
But – I was holding two contrary thoughts in my head, which is already twice my capacity. On one side of my brain, I believe the one-size-fits-all regiment of school harms kids – especially in public schools, which is about one step removed from factory farming. And we aren’t even getting soylent green out of it. A factory might pollute a stream; but schools pollute your kid’s mind.
But the other side of my brain says, “these kids are gunna be ruined forever if they don’t get back to class. They’re missing out on so much!” But that doesn’t make sense.
That’s like saying to a soldier who is laying in a hospital. “We gotta get u back to the front – you’re missing out on so much!” What were these students missing out on, really? Judging by our test scores, it’s not an education. And given the behavior of teachers unions, it’s hard to say what’s worse – school or the lockdown.
So, after a year of wondering about the coming mental health crisis, the CDC released data showing that suspected suicides dramatically increased among girls ages 12 to 17 in the US, compared to 2019.
But oddly – the rate is inversely related to school closures. Meaning when schools close, suspected suicide attempts actually went down. Then when schools reopened, the attempts go up. It’s like children suddenly had dirt on the Clintons.
So again – schools closed, suicide attempts among girls dropped. Then schools opened, they rose. Then when schools closed for winter vacation, suicide attempts plunged again. Then when the schools reopened again, the attempts suddenly jumped. There was no increase for boys during reopenings, but they did see a drop in lockdowns too. This sounds counter-intuitive.
But it’s not – once you realize that suicide death rates based on decades of data show it falls during the summer and Christmas vacation! So it’s not unique to the pandemic. It’s what happens when you leave school for any reason.
So how do you explain this? Well, school sucks. And when you’re home, away from school, you’re also away from the crap that preys on adolescent insecurities. The cliques, the bullying, the need to belong.
Meanwhile at home, you aren’t forced to change for gym class in front of all the people that made fun of you. (A shout out to Kilmeade)
It’s a vicious prank. Take kids when they’re least immune to peer pressure, and throw them into a sea of preening piranhas, who have better clothes and more money. On top of that, add teachers who realize that the model of teaching is to keep it bland, and if you’re the kid who’s unconventional, or a little slower, or a genius – you end up left out. The lonely kid at the cafeteria table.
You think it’s a coincidence Richard Branson, Einstein, and Walt Disney all quit school at 15? I’m guessing it wasn’t the curriculum they found too difficult. Meanwhile, when you’re home – you’re with the people who love you. And no matter how mad mom or dad get at you, they’re not gonna stuff you in a locker.
So sometimes, science reveals a connection between things that we always knew to be true, but couldn’t say out loud. Family is good. Peers are bad. And school is a prison.
So maybe Zoom classes weren’t so bad after all.
And as for the kid who is eating alone at the cafeteria, I think about you a lot. Stay strong. When you’re an adult you’ll realize the opinions of the teachers and children around you now don’t matter. High school will end. In the real world, their conformity is a weakness, while your uniqueness is a strength. No one ever said “you know why I like that guy? He is totally average, and goes along with what’s popular today.”
If they did… Then CNN would be popular.
This article is adapted from Greg Gutfeld’s opening monologue on the June 8, 2021 edition of “Gutfeld!”
If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).