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Kids Say the Darndest Things

A continuation of our popular series.

Today’s entry is an editorial from the “Crimson Report Staff” at Arvada High School (CO). They do get a little extra lenience for still being in High School, where they apparently haven’t had instruction in English or critical thinking. After several paragraphs that appear to be lifted almost directly from government publications (you’ll see shortly why they couldn’t have written it themselves), the staff (which apparently likes to refer to itself in the first person singular), came up with this doozy of a conclusion.

Marijuana is illegal for a reason. I think people who smoke marijuana do not know of the effects besides the “high” they get after smoking. I think people need to know what they are dong to their body’s before they start smoking and trying to get it legalized. If they do know, what does to them and they still smoke it. I’m fine with that, let them harm their body’s but don’t try to legalize it so uneducated people can do it to themselves.

Wow.

I guess this is proof that uneducated people do it to themselves.

Congratulations to the Crimson Report Staff — for that outstanding example of uneducated writing and thinking.

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31 comments to Kids Say the Darndest Things

  • Cannabis

    Let us pick it apart. I’ll start with “The leaf of a marijuana plant. – Courtousy of google images”

  • Max

    With all due respect, this post should be taken down. Those kids are in high school, it’s not their fault their writing is poor and they’re uninformed about marijuana. Parading their names for a public shaming makes you look small and is in extremely poor taste.

    • With all due respect, I didn’t post someone’s high school essay and attach their name to it.

      These students have decided to be journalists, have published their article and their individual names and journalist titles on a public website — an online newspaper that is registered with Google News in order to be distributed throughout the world as a news publication.

      These High School students had better be shamed, particularly if they’re interested in going to college. My fear is that nobody will shame them and they’ll end up at my university unprepared for the work they’ll need to do. Fortunately, the university I work at requires a writing sample for admission.

      Quite frankly, as a teacher, it would be extremely irresponsible for me to not make an example of them.

      If any of them wish to have their names removed, I’ll be happy to remove them.

      • Max

        Look, we’re obviously on the same side of the bigger issue, but I think you’re badly overestimating the political acumen of the average high schooler, perhaps because you work at the university level.

        I teach at the high school level and I can assure you that there is no way those kids have any real understanding of the politics of what they’re writing. It’s just not part of the cognitive function of a 16 year old, though he might protest otherwise.

        All 16 year olds are unprepared for university-level work, that’s why they’re in high school. Going through the high school experience is what prepares them. Singling them out while they are still learning about who they are and what sort of world they live in is unfair and cruel.

        Odds are none of them will ever read this, because they don’t read any policy blogs (because, again, they’re in high school.) But it doesn’t change how this reflects on you as an adult writer.

      • I’m singling them out for ridicule not because their political acumen is not fully developed, but because they’re trying to make a political point while believing that the plural of “body” is “body’s.”

        This isn’t about cognitive function. It’s about literacy. And it’s scary. These kids aren’t prepared for Middle School work!

        Oh, and by the way, according to Karen Durbin, their advisor, in a post on that site: “The students are expected to work lilke adults and they do.”

        An important part of learning is being critiqued, and being held up to a higher standard.

    • Buc

      Are high schoolers not mature enough to take responsibility for their own writing?

      It’s what their government would want them to do.

  • N.T. Greene

    ” Smoking marijuana is similar and sometimes worse than smoking a cigarette in many ways. Both substances can be addictive. Research shows the about 9% of users are addicted. 17% of users are addicted if they started at a young age. The affects on the lungs is worse because marijuana contains 50-70 % more carcinogenic hydrocarbons than tobacco. In addition, marijuana users usually hold their breath longer exposing their lungs to the carcinogenic hydrocarbons longer.
    Smoking marijuana can have other effects on your health. Smoking marijuana can effect the heart because it increases the heart rate shortly after smoking by 20-100%. This can last up to three hours. Marijuana users have higher chance of having a heart attack in the first hour after smoking.”

    I am pretty sure the dis/misinformation has to be attacked on any level where it appears. Most of that “editorial” is simply parroting the age-old propaganda. Likely got -someone- an A despite the numerous spelling, grammar, and information errors.

    I could attack the information pretty hard. I especially cringe at the mock addiction statistics.

    If this is what kids learn at school, it’s no wonder that the Drug War is still going on.

    • DdC

      The kids have a better shot at understanding reality.
      The adults are either ingrained in reefer madness or censored books.
      leaving them fighting to protect their own vested ignorance.
      At least you don’t have to un-teach the kids…
      … and oh how the academia gnash their teeth defending their sheepskins.
      The “expert” denialists and appeasers proud of their compromises of reality.

      If the goal was to tell the truth or use facts that live in the real world of Science. Or actually want an informed public. This is a cycle of disinformation that pops up randomly. Using the same list of tired boring reefer madness. Always what it will do and never what has it done. Each decade fabricating the symptoms to the times. Racism and xenophobic headlines getting it started. Murderous rampages dragged out of the Gore files in the war years to brainwashed commie bait in the 50’s and lazy commie bait hippies in the 60’s. 80’s Rayguns swore it caused worse brain damage than getting nuked. Then his piss test entrepreneur drug czar said it lead to Gayville and therefore caused AIDS. Of coarse lung cancer seemed obvious until their own tests proved otherwise. Same with tobacco being lumped in with chemical cigarettes. When they demonize it matters not what they say or do or the results of their actions. They’re cogs in a machine and humans are irrelevant.

      More potent than Yo Momma’s. Lil cancer sticks. It’s all BS to keep the corporations competition free. Many might convert if legal but why press it as long as the status quo they sell is making profits. Hemp replacing Cotton and 90 million pounds of aborting poisons, not sold for Hemp. Hemp replacing Trees for wood and paper. Hemp plastic instead of OPEC crude oil. That is a direct hit to the Koch’s and Boosh/Cheney Empire. Allong with their drug ties “treating” the cancer caused by the other enterprises. Hempseed omega 3, 6 and 9 efa’s worry meat, dairy and fish. Hemp oil skin care and stimulating the immune system to industrial base for paints and the best furniture polish. Now after damaging thousands of kids with lead based crude oil paint we have to clean up their mess. Like cleaning up Exxons mess or I’m sure the tax payers will do the bulk of the BP Gulf atrocity. Haliburton’s asbestos was reimbursed with no bid contracts in Iraq. Rockefeller’s Oil and the Propagandists maintaining dysfunction on us. Huge profits and they pay no tax.

      Strong corporate profits amid weak economy?

      Wars protecting foreign Oil wells. Using depleted uranium casings. Contaminating the soil kids play in. kick up the dust and more customers for Chemo! As long as you try to analyse it as a typical problem. You’ll need two more joints just for the nausea from getting dizzy going in catch 22 circles. There are too many red flags to suggest this is just happenstance. I’m starting to wonder if the professional “reformers” aren’t in on it. It’s just so damn obvious, its tangible evidence and nothing has the run around the bill of rights as much as the Ganjawar. Or as much never mentioned in the press or courts. Cannabis doesn’t fit by definition of a schedule#1 narcotic. Where is the paperwork on that? Just take Nixon’s word for it and Congress play his secretary typing it? Its almost set up to fail as far as any semblance of good for the kids or America. It’s the DEA’s mission for it to remain at a steady pace. Not enough to win or enough to legalize.

      Its only a wasted trillion dollars to us tax payers, not the companies and government employees receiving part of it to perpetuate this abomination. Its a tragedy that stands alone knowing how it could have been, especially the past 40 years. Several wars and 20 million Americans without criminal records or serving time ago we thought it was close. A renewable resource that grows anywhere and cleans the dirt as it grows. Deep roots aerate the soil for natural fertilizers and holding land preventing mudslides. Chokes off underbrush that create hotter forest fires and more damage than natural burns. Less drunks and stupidity and that also seems to be a part of keeping it going. Doublespeak and Gossip in-between commercials and sitcoms. GodLessAmerica!

      Henry Ford originally made his cars to run on ethanol, so farmers could create their own fuel. (He saw farmers really as his customers originally, since nearly all of us were farmers).

      Along comes John D. Rockefeller, who wants people to use oil. He provides money to the anti-alcohol movement in order to make Prohibition a reality, and stop the ethanol fuel industry and promote the use of fossil fuels.
      The documentary is called: Fuel.

      Al Capone and Watergate were red herrings to divert the countries attention from the Fascist acts of eliminating competition. Booze/Ethanol or Ganja//Hemp.

  • vicky vampire

    Reading in Article above that folks who partake of Marijuana are not aware of long term effects that four hundred chemical could have on them and there children in long run, Mmm these same Adults teaching these High Schol Kids are not that concerned in long term effects of say plastic and Teflon and the other 50,OOO chemicals in our environments that may cause Cancer and other debilitating illnesses.
    And on the subject of Cannabanoids concerning Schizophrenia,that subject alone even referring to it without reading any literature is just ignorance,I have a family member going in filed of psychology and has made me see although it is a soft subjective some call pseudo science researched with reasonable intent can illuminate much in human behavior that is invaluable,a starting point at least before spouting off about all that is bad about pot would be reading The Pot Book A complete Guide to Cannabis by Its Role in Medicine,Politics,Science,and Culture. Edited by Julie Holland a psychiatrist who has opinions and studies on these issues that scare folks that have not ever tried pot, or seem to be so afraid of it.
    She does not give a one side-ed Pr-pot view, do any of these folks talk about dangers of Marijuana who ever read or in form them self before spouting off,yeah I know if someone attacked them would be furious that folks were not informed on subject of there choosing or problem, and call them ignorant,what is it about Marijuana that illicit-es yes I know the government has brainwashed folks for years but hey the internet is these same folks will read up on other subjects and do tons of research but when it comes to Cannabis people just say it’s bad end of story I don’t want to hear any positives about it just quite crazy,this subject is so damn polarizing, there is hardly any middle ground.

  • my thought was where’s their instructor? It seems at the HS level that their teacher should be reading their work. A dear friend is a HS AP Lit teacher and her jaw would drop at such bad writing. The subject is truly irrelevant in many regards, although some criticism of research skills is definitely warranted.

    And I’m w/ Pete… putting your name to a piece and publishing it opens the door to criticism of content and use of language.

    I am surprised that so many names were attached. I’d give them all a D and that would be generous.

    • Windy

      If I were their teacher/advisor, I would have failed each and every one of them. The writing form is atrocious, the research negligible, and that the authors can’t spell or use proper grammar by the time they are in high school . . . well, that is a very, VERY sad testimonial to the worth of education in these united States.

      Obviously it is time to listen to this man:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Caldwell_Holt

    • Max

      High school newspapers are different within each school system, and sometimes within each school, so it’s hard to say. I edited my high school paper and worked with a lot of other area editors at an urban-ish school in the south east, and we would never have been allowed to publish a pro-legalization editorial. On top of the rejection we could probably have expected a visit from the student resource officer, drug dog in tow.

      The commenters in this thread crowing over Peter’s take-down of a bunch of children strike me as people who have been out of high school a little too long.

      Edit: this was meant to respond to the comment below, somehow got put in the wrong thread.

      • Maria

        Or out of high school just long enough to have the shell shock wear off and the anger bubble up. The fact that this was published and is available worldwide through Google as a news resource means that someone needs to poke it with a stick. And since my comment is directly below? I’ll stop mocking and share a thought or two.

        I think we all know that these are “kids.” Most of us reading this likely sympathize in that high school is a tough and complicated place to navigate. A time when you desire to be in control but are in control of precious little. In that light, I’m sure they don’t appreciate us calling them kids. They probably want to be treated as adults more than anything else.

        But the thing is, when you voluntarily take on adult responsibilities you have to accept that others will treat you as an adult, at least in the sphere of those responsibilities because this isn’t an essay someone turned in for their AP course that will only be read by the teacher. This has wider consequences.

        So, in this sphere they are adults, albeit young ones. They are writers who declared, by publishing their work, that they are collaborative journalists worthy of worldwide scrutiny. Youth doesn’t protect you much these days.

        But like with Rebbeca Black, there is a difference between cruelly mocking the child and positively mocking the terrible output (ex: the stellar Fallon/Colbert and Guests charity sing along); especially when there where experienced adults, who should know better and probably did, involved in the production and dissemination of the results.

        The sad thing is that we associate the crap output with the young minds in the spotlight and not with the older parties involved who helped them put it out there, and who slyly remain in the background. This explicitly lets everyone know that these young and fresh voices are being used as tools, willingly or unwittingly. Either way, tools.

        Yet, we shouldn’t laugh at the words themselves because they are written by hands too young to hold a drink? That’s not how it works. The point isn’t to mock these kids or crow about their possible humiliation, that’s too easy, too cruel, but I will sure as hell pick at their words and maybe one of them will take a moment to step back and think. Easy target? Sure, but it’s one that needs to be hit, if only to highlight the educational and critical thinking damage that’s being done to “our children” in the name of harm reduction and the drug war. And yes, it’s still ok to laugh.

        Because despite the apparent abuse of these minds they got one brilliant thing right, as pointed out previously, the uneducated do in fact harm themselves.

      • Julian

        I graduated highschool only a few years ago and it is because of my highschool teachers that I am as politically active as I am today. My teachers did not accept mediocraty from me. They did not allow me to skate by with the bare minimum. The asked of me more then I thought I was capable and I learned I was made of more then I believed I was. We do not teach by making excuses. We teach by correcting. We teach by empowering. We teach by being teachers. I was taught that my high school education was a stepping stone to becoming an adult and entering the real world. I was taught to pursue critical thinking and approach all subjects from all angles. If I had written this in highschool my teachers would not have allowed this to be published in our paper much less on the internet. When I attempted to publish an article on drug regulation no one would publish it in the school paper, so I went and found a website that would publish it. There are no excuses to be made for this. There is no justification that can be made for this. The children who published this do not need to be ridiculed but they do not need to be coddled either. They need to be confronted with the reality of the world. It is better they learn that writing and publishing something of this nature can have a serious effect on their career before they actually enter the field of journalism because if this were published by an adult journalist who was working for a reputable paper they would most likely no longer have a job and would be unable to find another job in the field of journalism again. We cannot use the defense “They are ignorant, they know not what they do. We must protect them from the effects of their actions.” It falls short in their paper and it falls short as a defense for them writting the paper.

      • rita

        “Pete’s take-down of a bunch of children”? What, are you afraid he might have hurt the little darlings’ feelings? Have you ever seen what drug cops do to children during drug raids? I have, and anyone — be it a third-grader or a high school student with a third-grade education, who comes around me spouting rhetoric about bad ol’ drugs is going to get corrected.

  • Maria

    Ok, I just have to accept that I am going to hell. I look forward to these segments for my insomniac dose of cynical giggle fitting.

    I hear that sex increases the risk of heart attack. Just sayin’. Criminalize sex because of what it “dongs to your body”. Hah. See what I did there? No? *crickets*

    Also, speaking of self, I need to put “Harm: Uneducated people do it to themselves.” on a freaking t-shirt.

    • Duncan20903

      Well they warn people that smoking pot will increase the risk of heart attack by a factor of 4.8. “While smoking marijuana was found to be less risky as an immediate trigger of heart attack than using cocaine, it is roughly as dangerous as exercise for a fit person and more dangerous than sex for a sedentary person.”

      Time to criminalize exercise. I’ve always thought that was a bad habit.

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/06/010612065616.htm

  • Buc

    Choosing journalism CAN make you more likely to have a heart attack and/or stroke since you MIGHT be putting time into the paper which could be used for aerobic activity such as school sports that MAY prevent said heart attack or stroke from happening for a certain period of time.

    Of course, this MAY be true or MAYBE it’s not.

  • I am curious… what if they had written a rocking editorial in favor of legalization? Would it have even been allowed to be published?

    • Bailey

      Actually it probably would have been published, and caused a firestorm of controversy. School officials would disavow it. The supervising teacher would have been replaced (though that’s probably a solid idea anyway, given the type of writing the current piece demonstrates). In the next issue, the freshman who wrote this piece of crap would get it printed on the front page, and someone would find a way to blame it all on Barack Obama.

      When I was in high school speech and debate I gave a speech on marijuana legalization and was surprised how often I placed first at all these small Southeast Missouri high schools. Of course it was checked for grammer and not printed for mass consumption…

  • Servetus

    Most of these aspiring journalists will discover drugs someday.

    When they do, a sickening feeling will arise as they remember their names are irreparably linked as co-authors to a mediocre and fraudulent prohibition propaganda piece written in high school. They’ll hope the story goes away. But no, there it is, preserved forever on The Crimson Report website, despite its easy removal from Drug WarRant.

    Some students will respond by changing their names. Others will go into hiding. More than a few who become journalists will be really pissed off at the government propaganda arm of their high school which deceived and manipulated them into adding their names to the drug war’s trash heap of propaganda, rather than an actual bit of good journalism.

    The humiliating circumstances that have befallen these young journalists demands retribution. The wronged but intrepid reporters of the high school journalism staff could do very well to improve their writing abilities in the next few years and use their new skills to retaliate for being used in this terrible manner by their own government by attacking the drug war. What makes it good is that pieces attacking prohibition are hot and will continue to be popular for the foreseeable future of the drug war.

  • tintguy

    My 17 year old (who is actually disapproving of my use) turned in an argumentive essay to his AP lit class last week on the lack of logic behind cannabis prohibition. He had forgotten about the assignment and needed an easy topic so he could knock it out quick. I didn’t even know about it until this past weekend when my wife was reveiwing his stuff.

  • this is just one more reason why when i am no longer able to care for myself, i will walk into the ocean to wrestle a shark rather than go to a “rest home” where idiots like this will be responsible for my care

  • kaptinemo

    Real world experience will eventually cause these budding journalists to realize the extent to which their own educational curriculum has been, for want of a better word, deliberately retarded.

    Unfortunately, this article amply demonstrates the success of that process…

    • rita

      I wonder if there’s any connection between the third-grade writing skills and the fact that the DARE program starts in the fourth grade?

  • here’s something really hilarious: they can’t spell or create a coherent sentence — but they can drive cars

  • Max’ cautionary tone towards criticism of these children (and yes, they are still children) is warranted, yet a look at the comments on the article shows that those of us couch potatoes that did comment did so w/ a light and compassionate hand. No surprise to me.

    However, had the kids written a pro-cannabis piece the commenters – like… oh… Linda Taylor – surely would not have been so kind. In fact Taylor would have been screaming harpishly for the head of their instructor.

  • Anonymous

    The sole author of this article was Joe Tiner. It is unfortunate that the whole staff is taking the fall for his unwillingness to stand alone by his blunder.

  • Anonymous

    Clearly this student has no real world experience with the substance therefore should not be allowed to write an editorial about it. The student has thrown his entire staff under the bus though it is not entirely their fault. Thank you for the previous anonymous who has notified us that it was written by Joe Tiner. Congratulations Joe, you’ve written a terrible editorial.