Abstinence Education

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Editorial and Opinion  |  House: Booksie Classic
Food for thought.

Submitted: February 22, 2009

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Submitted: February 22, 2009



“OK, class, take your seats. My name is Mrs. Cartwright, and this is Drivers Education. Anyone who has a waiver signed by your parents should bring it up now, and for the next ten weeks you will report to the cafeteria this period for Study Hall rather than coming here.” 
“Right. OK, now that all those whose parents don’t want them to hear about driving at school have left, let’s get to it, shall we?
“Driving is one of the most sublime pleasures that a person can have. Getting your license and getting behind the wheel of your own car is a sign of adulthood and inclusion in the greater society. The first time behind the wheel is a pleasure so intense, so profound, that it will be a dividing point in your life, between the slow, dull, stationary world of childhood and the fast, vibrant, high-velocity world of the grown-up. But we will not be discussing that here.
As most of you probably know, in order to continuing getting Federal education money, the School Board has mandated that we use the Pedestrian Only course material, as modified by recent Supreme Court decisions that allow for the discussion of mass transit.” 
“For the first nine weeks we will discuss walking. We will talk about why it is more fun and safer to walk than it is to drive before you are ready. We will study and master the reasons why you should never, ever, drive a car until you are old enough and experienced enough to know what you are doing. We will conclude the walking portion of the class with an in-depth examination of how you should never, ever drive a car until you have bought and paid for it. And note that that means really paid; none of the “promissory note” nonsense. In week ten, if we have time, we will talk about riding the bus. Are there any questions? Yes, Trudy.”
“Mrs. Cartwright, will there be anything about safe driving and accident avoidance and what to do in emergencies when in a car?”
“No. Justin.”
“Uhm, someone went through my textbook and used magic marker to black out all the pictures of cars. I know there were cars, ‘cause my brother had this same book two years ago, and I looked at all the cars.”
“Yes, I’m sure you did. Settle down, class. It was decided by the School Board that since you were not going to be learning about cars in this class it would be inappropriate to show you pictures of them. Unfortunately, these books are only 14 years old, and it will be another 6 before we can afford to buy new ones, so the Walk with the Light Committee went through all the books coloring out the cars.” 
“Mrs. Cartwright? Will we be learning about motorcycles?” 
“Cindy, wait until you’re called on. But no, we will not talk about motorcycles. Even before Ped Only we didn’t talk about motorcycles, other than how they weren’t really like cars, and make car drivers nervous, and probably shouldn’t be allowed on the road. So no, we will not be discussing motorcycles.” 
“But my cousin in California is taking Driver’s Ed, and they talk about motorcycles. She said there is even a motorcycle club at her school.”
“Yes. Well; California. I am afraid that you will find that we don’t do things the way they do in California. We do things the way they do in Texas.”
“Will be talk about sidecars?” 
“James, if we are not going to talk about motorcycles, what makes you think we will talk about those things? A teacher up North lost her teaching certificate for mentioning those, so we will not have that kind of talk again. Now, if there are no further…”
“Mrs. Cartwright, what about NASCAR?”
“Susan, that is an interesting and tricky question. Most churches, especially ones like the Southern Baptists, agree that there is nothing wrong with registered and licensed drivers watching a little NASCAR. Indeed, there have been times when I haven’t felt like going for a drive, and I’ve encouraged Mr. Cartwright to go watch some NASCAR by himself. I feel it has strengthened our marriage. But unlicensed drivers should not watch NASCAR, as it might give them the wrong idea about driving.” 
“Well, that’s about it for this period. For next period, read chapters one through four, and spend at least two hours ignoring all the cars around you, and pretending the world is different than it obviously is. Class dismissed.” 
“Hey, Cindy; wait up!”
“What is it, James?” 
“Wanta come over to my house after school and play some Grand Theft Auto?”
“Sure. Why not?”

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