For starters, where all good drama begins, behold a Facebook rant by the visiting author Jamie Ford.
Ford also when on a tirade on his personal website, front page. which started with:
Well, it finally happened.
After visiting more than 100 schools, from inner-city schools in New York, the kind with clear backpacks and metal detectors, to elite international baccalaureate high schools, including one where the previous year’s guest speaker was Justin Bieber—I’ve finally had a school visit…go sideways.
Now it is Sunday, so behold the word of God:
You shall do no injustice in judgment; you shall not be partial to the poor nor defer to the great, but you are to judge your neighbor fairly.
A rundown for people who didn’t read the rant;
This guy goes to a school to give a speech. During the Q&A, the students applaud non stop after every question he answers. Lots of applause, minutes of it.
Here’s my conspiracy theory: Because this writer has been doing this speech at both rich and poor schools, both monoculture and diverse, and this is the first time this has happened, we have to assume that there is something going on outside of his appearance to cause this reaction.
From my own personal experience of being a teenager, and being at a school at one point, here’s what probably happened.
Earlier in the week, the teachers told students to be positive and supportive of the visiting guest *no matter what.* Then the students did what teenagers do best, they over did it.
They decided, no matter what the speaker said, to go overboard on the applause. Not because they were rich (he’s spoken at rich schools and not had this result ever before) and not because he is poor (he’s a best selling author) but because teenagers.
Now for some deeper issues;
Should people act this way? No. Can they do better? Duh. Take this next week to ask your nearby teacher friends how they would react to an overabundance of applause and enthusiasm in the classroom.