School of mixed messages

Posted by on Aug 5th, 2010 and filed under Viewpoints. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Even though I’ve written here more than once about all of my kids having finished their time under the care and teaching of the Glendale Unified School District, I still have one bit of unfinished business – a last unpicked bone, if you will. The incident in question was the Class of 2010’s senior prom, held on a balmy Saturday night last May.
Before I say more about the prom itself, I need to set the stage with another event that took place around the same time in another part of the country – the town of Enfield, Conn. According to news coverage, the school district in Enfield has experienced overcrowded conditions much like the GUSD has had to deal with for years. Things have gotten so bad, in fact, that the Enfield district’s ceremonies for graduating high school seniors have had to be moved off-campus to more comfortably accommodate the large number of graduates, their families and VIP guests. (Apparently, unlike Glendale, Enfield must not have access to an outdoor baseball field. Either that or they simply don’t want to subject students, their parents and dear great grannies to blistering summer heat, unavoidable sunburn, or rickety plastic chairs lined up in impossible-to-see-what’s-happening outfield rows.)
The reason Enfield School District made the news, unfortunately, is because the off-campus locations for its graduation ceremonies were (you know what’s coming, don’t you?) … wait for it … (cue dramatically threatening music) … churches! Yep. In order to have enough indoor seating, in a comfortable, climate-controlled setting, several high schools in the Enfield district had – for the last couple of years, at least – made arrangements with large local churches to hold graduation ceremonies in their sanctuaries, according to a June 23, 2010 story in the Wall Street Journal. Knowing that a very few hyper-sensitive Enfieldians were eagerly waiting to be offended at the egregious nature of the district’s actions, school officials even went so far as to have the host churches temporarily cover up any religious symbols during the graduation ceremonies. (Now THAT is offensive in my book.)
Not good enough, unfortunately, for a chosen handful of terminally ticked-off townsfolk in Enfield. No, the school district was sued, an activist judge was found, and the schools were banned from holding graduation ceremonies in the dreaded institutions.
Thinking about all the fuss that was made so a tiny minority of legalistic losers wouldn’t have to step foot inside an insidious house of worship brings me full circle back to this year’s CV senior prom and the venue chosen in which to hold it – the V20 Club in Long Beach.
For the unenlightened among us, the V20 is a so-called “rave club.” To get an idea of what goes on at a such a place, fasten your seat belt and log onto the club’s web site. Once your eyes are firmly back into their sockets, you’ll be able to click on short embedded videos that feature two DJ/rappers or some other type of fine upstanding role models who go by the name of “Fizz & Boog” waxing eloquently about the joys of “Poppin Bottles with Models” – and they aren’t talking about bottles of Glacier Spring Water.
Also, be sure to mark your calendars so you don’t miss the V20-hosted Hooters Fashion Show, or (because I visited the site just before the 4th of July holiday) the club’s big “Skindependence” party to celebrate the birth of our nation. (Makes you proud, doesn’t it?) Oh, and the club’s corporate sponsor – or at least the most prominent logo on their site, appears to be Grey Goose Vodka. All in all, a nice, healthy environment for our young sons and daughters to celebrate a night they’ll remember all their lives. Don’t you think?
Sadly, our son decided not to attend his own senior prom, saying, “I don’t really want to remember pole dancing at my prom.”
Thank heavens the kids weren’t subject to any religious images, at least.
I’ll see you ‘round town.

Jim Chase is an award-winning advertising copywriter and lifetime CV resident. Find him online at

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