Parents and Mental Health Professionals Are Disturbed by One Teacher’s Lesson On Choices

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On any given day, we make an umpteen number of choices. 

And while many of the choices we make are small and inconsequential, others have life-altering consequences and can completely change the outcomes of our lives.

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This was the lesson an unnamed teacher in Fort Myers, Fl. was trying to teach her students, and now? She (or he) may be the one facing the consequences.

The point of the controversial exercise was to teach children about making positive choices, however, parents are feeling anything BUT positive about it. 

According to NBC2 News, the lesson was being taught to 7th graders at Lexington Middle School.

Entitled, “What results do you want for the choices YOU make,” the intention was to illustrate how the choices we make affect our outcomes.

With each choice, the result becomes progressively worse.

choices and consequences
NBC2 News

The assignment begins tamely enough:

Choice #1 – “Am I on task?” 

This is followed by:

“Off Task = no Learning

No learning = Fail

Fail = No diploma”

Okay, this seems a little extreme but I get where the teacher is trying to go with this.

Except, apparently I don’t because it is at this point that the train starts rolling out of the station.

“No diploma = no job”

Huh. While I don’t recommend dropping out of school, I wonder if anyone told this to Rihanna? Or Jennifer Lawrence? Or Ryan Gosling? Walt Disney? Richard Branson?

It went on to list:

“No job = no money

No money = no food

No food = too skinny

And that train I mentioned? Just took a hard turn and is flying off the tracks.

Too Skinny = unattractive

unattractive = no love

I don’t know about you, but I find it more than a little concerning that kids are being taught that they are only worthy of love if they aren’t “too skinny” or “unattractive.” 

No love = no marriage

no marriage = no children

Also, someone may need to give this teacher a lesson in biology. Because marriage is NOT a requirement for getting pregnant or having kids. (Just sayin’)

choices and consequences
NBC2 News

But wait…because it gets better (and by better, I mean worse.)

“No children = alone

alone = depressed

(Find me a parent who is finally able to pee alone, and we’ll see just how depressed they are.)

depressed = ill

ill = death”

Wow. This is inspiring, no?

Who knew that not paying attention in school would ultimately result in depression and death?

At face value, the lesson seems to make it crystal clear that if you don’t graduate, get married, and have kids, you will end up too skinny, unattractive, lonely,  and sick. And then you’ll die.

And just in case you’re pondering the moral of this depressingly awful tale, ponder no more.

The teacher added the following footnote (yes, complete with the smiley face):

“Moral of the story: Begin each day with a positive choice!

Continue making positive choices minute by minute so you can achieve good grades so you can be “happy” and “successful” in life! :-)”

choices and consequences
NBC2 News

Not surprisingly, parents and mental health professionals are disturbed by the teacher’s questionable chain of causation.

Mom, Angie Clary, told NBC2 News:

“I cannot believe that a teacher would give that to a student. If I were a middle school student and a teacher gave that to me, I would be extremely upset.”

The media outlet also interviewed licensed mental health counselor Laura Streyffeler to get her take on the matter.

She believes “the lesson sends a dangerous message to young minds.”

Streyffeler said: 

“I was very disturbed not only by the list but what it implied.

People aren’t broken if they don’t have children. To give that kind of message to a kid, I think can be very psychologically and emotionally harmful.” 

I have a number of friends who are childless. They are neither lonely nor depressed. In fact, they are living full, happy, successful lives.

There is no one specific “right” path to follow in life.

If there were, we’d all be on it. Yes, the choices we make have consequences, however, a choice that may be bad for one person may turn out to be the absolutely best choice for someone else.

While this lesson is concerning, it is important to note that we have no context regarding it. We don’t know if the teacher was serious or if it was tongue-in-cheek to elicit conversation in the classroom. Or, if it was just a really really bad choice.

Neither the teacher nor the school has spoken out about it.

According to NBC2 News, a spokesperson for the Lee County School District said they are looking into it.

It’s unclear if the teacher behind it will face any consequences. 

 

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