Friday, February 11, 2011

"Have You Drugged Your Kid Today?"

I guess this is what happens when a teacher comes down on the wrong side of the war on... no, make that for drugs. The admonition, "Don't use Adderall or Ritalin" is for DARE officers to give, not teachers.

I have sympathy for parents and teachers dealing with ADHD, but it does seem that the "diagnostic criteria" have devolved in many parts of the country to a school official saying to a parent, "You should consider an ADHD medication," followed by a general practitioner saying, "Let's try this one".

The teacher fired over her bumper sticker worked at a high school. You'll please forgive me, but I think high school students should be regarded as sufficiently capable to participate in a debate over ADHD drugs. But I suspect that the real issue wasn't so much a fear of a loss of order within the school or students refusing to take medication at the nurse's office, so much as it was their parents taking umbrage or fearing having to justify to their kids why the teacher is wrong.


  1. If Ausburn is as clever as she believes herself to be, then (as an English teacher and all) she should be aware that the danger of trying to sum up a problem in "one clever line" is that said line may have more than one meaning. And people can't read your mind via a bumper sticker.

    Hers can quite reasonably be read as being anti-medication, period. A practitioner of homeopathy, or a Scientologist, could happily slap the bumper sticker on their own cars without worrying about any implication that SOME drugs are okay.

    I'm also more than a bit skeptical of her story. She doesn't have a union?

  2. It's not a clever message. I But then, it's a bumper sticker - a medium better suited toward slogans and provocation.

    Given the lack of nuance in the sticker, it seems to me that, yes, an English teacher might reasonably consider whether it accurately conveys the idea she's trying to convey. If so, well, it's not much of an idea. If not, is she picking the right battle?

    I don't know why this comes to mind, but... I heard a while back that drivers with multiple bumper sticker are much more likely to engage in acts of "road rage" - three or more and, whatever the political message, the likelihood of the driver's engaging in bad behavior on the road goes way up.


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