Horace Mann Tells Its Students That The Bill of Rights Starts With Number 2 Because of “Clerical Errors”

31 Mar

This is one of those stories that is so stupid and yet so American, or more specifically, so New York that I feel like I’m reading a crappy fiction issue of some third rate blog.  Basically the kids of Horace Mann used social networking site Facebook to, you know, socially network.  They linked up with friends, they decided to post pictures of a teacher they all hated while said teacher did incredibly exciting things like buy milk and wait to cross the street, they pilloried things like feminism and all that other stuff.  Shockingly, when allowed to express themselves, sixteen year old boys act exactly like Nick Denton on a three day coke bender with someone else’s ATM card.  They act like assholes.

New York magazine decided this was cover worthy and set about writing a story about the fact that 16 year old privilged kids can be monsters.  I know! Shocking! I really needed to catch my breath there.  It was like the whole world just changed for me.

Here is how it starts.

Peter Sheehy, a history teacher at the Horace Mann School, sat in his bedroom, trolling the Internet. It was the fall of 2006, shortly after lunch on a Saturday afternoon. The school year had just begun. Not a good start, Sheehy thought. On Thursday, J.T. Della Femina, the newly elected student-body president and son of advertising magnate Jerry Della Femina, had brought a female club leader to tears at the opening high-school assembly when he introduced her at the podium as “the Queen of Mean.”

Now, in the hallways and in the school newspaper, students and teachers were fiercely debating the presence of sexism on campus. The students defended J.T.’s words even as the teachers deplored them.

MYSPACE, Sheehy typed into Google. He had never been on social-networking sites before, but he was troubled by the reaction to the assembly, and his worry triggered a thought. Not long ago, a student had told him that classmates were photographing a math teacher with their cell phones and posting the embarrassing pictures online. (Sheehy was chairman of the faculty-grievance committee.) Perhaps it was worth taking a look…

Once on there he finds such bon mots as “bitch” and “mean” and I believe “poopoo poopoo head.”  Sheehy is apalled.  Something. Must. Be. Done.  I guess when the lawsuits were deemed unteneable a quick call to the New York features editor was what was done.

I don’t know that editor but let me say what is clear from the get go.  Sheehy is a liar.  Never been to Myspace?  Never been on Facebook? Crazy ass liar.  You can’t google anything without going to Myspace. He is married to Janice Min from US Weekly.

If a teacher doesn’t understand the innerworkings of an adolescent mind, and recognize harmless banter as harmless banter; if a history teacher doesn’t understand satire I don’t know really what you can do.  This is a non-story that New York magazine made a story. And lets be clear, Peter Sheehy lives well because his wife runs a weekly that regularly follows people and takes pictures of them getting milk and crossing the street and calls it news.  It regularly calls people frigid, bitch and acid casualties.  His loft in the meat packing disctrict is paid for by the very acts he condemns.  He should quit now and write a book about Horace Mann.  Oh wait… 

2 Responses to “Horace Mann Tells Its Students That The Bill of Rights Starts With Number 2 Because of “Clerical Errors””

  1. Anonymous March 31, 2008 at 8:16 pm #

    Good for you

  2. Anon April 7, 2008 at 4:20 pm #

    You hit the nail on the head…Sheehy = Min

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