Can we stand to hear any more horror stories from the college admissions scandal? Of course we can, because it’s ongoing and universities aren’t doing anything substantial to fix the underlying problem (a major part of that is the college athletics loophole, which, when any university admits that it is corrupting the educational mission of the college and shuts the whole nonsense down, will cause me to faint.)
But it’s the parents who are pissing us off right now. Such causual greed, such arrogant assumption of privilege.
The word entitlement—even in its full, splendid range of meanings—doesn’t begin to cover the attitudes on display. Devin Sloane is the CEO of a Los Angeles company that deals in wastewater management. Through Singer, he allegedly bribed USC to get his son admitted as a water-polo player. But a guidance counselor at his school learned of the scheme and contacted USC—the boy did not play the sport; something was clearly awry. Singer smoothed it over, but the whole incident enraged Sloane: “The more I think about this, it is outrageous! They have no business or legal right considering all the students privacy issues to be calling and challenging/question [my son’s] application,” he wrote to Singer.
How dare they notice that he lied about his participation in water polo!
But the college counselor at the girls’ high school had always doubted that the first girl rowed crew; when the second one got into the same school for the same reason, she realized that something suspicious was going on. She confronted the girl.
The counselor was acting honorably. Loughlin and Giannulli—if the affidavit is to be believed—were in the midst of a criminal operation. Yet instead of hanging his head in shame, Giannulli apparently roared onto the high-school campus apoplectic. Singer got a panicked email from his USC contact: “I just want to make sure that, you know, I don’t want the … parents getting angry and creating any type of disturbance at the school … I just don’t want anybody going into … [the daughter’s high school] you know, yelling at counselors. That’ll shut everything—that’ll shut everything down.”
How dare they notice that she lied about her participation in crew!
That’s the thing. These parents are indignant about being confronted with their lies — they have a right to lie, cheat, and bribe their children’s way into the prestigious school of their choice, and what will the kids learn? That learning and knowledge are irrelevant, that their presence in a school is a status symbol, one that doesn’t need to be earned but only paid for.
Rich people. Up against the wall, assholes.
But wait…are middle class white people, you know, the ones who are happy to see their kids go on the state school, blameless? You want to see more poison, look to privileged parent associations. They can get ugly, too. Here’s what happened when a public school proposed to broaden the school boundaries and let in those other kids, the poor ones, the brown ones. The parents freaked out.
The Thursday night meeting at Quince Orchard High School in North Potomac, attended by about 50 people, included questions of what would happen if students from schools with poor academic performance were moved into schools with higher achievement.
“They won’t be able to keep up and they won’t study,” one parent said.
Other parents said white families are being punished for “working hard and doing well and choosing to live in a certain community.”
If they can’t keep up, they will do poorly. But how does that detract from your child’s performance? I went through school with a range of my peers, some smarter and more disciplined than me, others were slackers. It did not harm me. And why assume they will be unable to keep up? Maybe new opportunities, better teachers and facilities will inspire them to excel.
Somehow, I think that’s their real fear, that if they don’t keep those others down, they might prove themselves the equal of their little darlings.
I don’t see how having a more representative student body punishes anyone. And why do you think you’re working harder than people in a poorer community? My experience has been that the opposite is true. I grew up with a father who was often working two jobs to make ends meet, so that assertion is BS.
“If Montgomery County was paying my taxes, then they could do that. But they’re not, so I have a right to go to my local school,” one parent said. “I made a decision to live where I live and pay the price I pay based on that school. They want to change everything and you can’t pull the rug out from under our feet. That’s wrong. Actually, it’s criminal and they will all be voted out.”
That’s the attitude of the Loughlins and Giannullis. An education is not a right, it’s something that the privileged deserve and anyone else should be begging for scraps. Yes, you should have a good school in your neighborhood for your children, and so should those kids in other neighborhoods. How can you justify depriving one child to meet the needs of another? Just because you’re wealthier?
Capitalism poisons everything.