Chairman Mao sighting in the Student Center

Forgive me, comrades, for I have sinned

Forgive me, comrades, for I have sinned

A reader sent along this article in Greenwich Patch written by an apologist for this “Names Hurt” day at GHS. The comments are more enlightening than the article itself, and it’s interesting that, while educators involved in the program post their own comments defending the wasted day, not a single one of them will answer readers’ repeated inquiries about what the program costs. Perhaps our BOA would like to share that information with us.

Here’s a description of what goes on, courtesy of “reporter” ( and public relations specialist) Leslie Yager:

The themes of  Names Day are bullying and empathy, but the framework for discussion is broken down into “targets, allies, bystanders and perpetrators.”

The morning session is led by upperclassmen who relay their personal stories to an auditorium brimming with curious, but sometimes-suspicious freshmen. In fact, a handful of freshmen opt out because it is not unreasonable to anticipate that no one would brave the open microphones. Yet, “after the first three, a line forms,” said junior Henry Snyder.

According to junior Kate Webster, “The first few people were slow to come up to the microphone. After that, there were so many in line, there wasn’t time for everyone to speak.”

Some of those moved to speak share the pain of having been bullied (targets). Others apologize publicly for having been bullies (perpetrators). By the end of the session, some of the perpetrators confess to having been bullied themselves. Others share their epiphany after realizing that playing the role of bystander can have as dangerous a consequence as being a perpetrator.

“When someone got up and talked about an insecurity of what they’re being made fun of, people shouted out from the audience, “You’re beautiful!’” reported junior Annie Riley.

“Afterward,” said sophomore Alleyha Dannett, “There were so many hugs and tears.”

“Yes,” said junior Angelica Simionatto. “Afterward one girl hugged me so tight and she had tears in her eyes and said, ‘Now I’m not going to stand around when I see someone alone.’”

Snyder nodded knowingly. “At lunch today, you walked around seeing people you’d never expect to be friends sitting together. People were pushing tables together so that no one had to sit alone. It made me feel really good because it means we succeeded.”

After the morning of speeches and the open microphones, students and staff broke into discussion groups. Marji Lipshez-Shapiro, who founded the Names Day program many years ago, reflected on the morning with Bill Foster and Sandra Vonniessen-Applebee, also from the Anti Defamation League (ADL) and a group of students upstairs in the GHS media center.

Our students’ teachers seem to have adopted this concept of group confession from their collectivist allies. From “The Great Soviet Encyclopedia”: 

Criticism and Self-Criticism 

a method of exposing the contradictions of social development; an indispensable aspect of material and intellectual activity; one of the fundamental principles of the revolutionary transforming activity of Marxist-Leninist political parties and, in socialist society, of the entire people; one of the moving forces of development in socialist society; and a principle of the moral upbringing, self-education, and spiritual development of people. The essence of criticism and self-criticism consists in the recognition and exposure, in one form or another, of the contradictions, errors, or shortcomings that arise for objective or subjective reasons in the course of social practice, in order to overcome them.

The art of self-criticism will be an important one in the new world order, and the lucky members of the Greenwich High School band will have an opportunity to practice that skill during their upcoming trip to Cuba, sponsored and endorsed by our Board of Education. Remember when it was the responsibility of parents and spiritual leaders to instruct children on the Golden Rule, and kindness and respect towards others? Fortunately, we have the state to do that for us now.


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11 responses to “Chairman Mao sighting in the Student Center

  1. Lenin silenced over 30 million critics….
    Mao upped the ante to 40 plus million…
    Live or die is a lot more important than whine and cry, still ?
    Was all this activity approved by Union ?
    If so which Union ?

  2. Publius

    Mr Fountain,

    This sir, is the real reason for the $35 million auditorium. Greenwich would settle for nothing less for the annual soul searching, weeping and hug fest. I would suggest that in order to save money, the students can simply remain in their class rooms and text about these experiences while ignoring the class lesson in everyday math. I presume that this foolishness will be repeated during diversity week when they bus in the great unwashed from other surrounding towns to let the students of Greenwich know that landscapers and maids are people too.

  3. Cos Cobber

    And in other news, DB and FF must be proud of CT’s current budget fiasco.

    415MM deficit and growing:,0,7850676.story

    But spending continues to grow – surely in the name of justice!

    None of this will get any better soon as UBS (scaling down) and SAC (sacked by the SEC) will be generating far fewer income tax dollars in the years ahead (from company bottomlines and employee wages).

  4. Anonymous

    GHS is teaching the children how to behave politely at a Commie re-education camp.

    There are bullies in the real world, post high school. Jostling, competition, and contention, while not acceptable behavior for a delightfully PC Greenwich soiree, are in fact important life skills. Just out of curiosity, how many of these delightful little wunderkinds have parents who are litigators?

    Teaching a child how to stand up for him/herself and to have the judgment to know how and when to pick their spots is a vital aspect of home education. Not all kids get it. The school can’t provide it. Tough beans, that’s life, which frequently is unfair, perhaps a more important lesson than this enforced group-think indoctrination.

    The susceptible ones, are the children and parents, who don’t have the perspective to understand what an amazing stroke of luck and privilege it is to live during a time when it’s possible to go through life as a limp-wristed wimp, never having to face a challenge for fight for anything, because nanny will take care of it.

  5. Anonymous

    i’m not a parent nor do i play one on television, but i know a family with a couple of kids who get picked on, bullied, etc. it’s to the point where they had to change schools for ’em. well, the parents made that decision, that is.

    the short version of how that situation existed (and perhaps continues to exist) is not with the kids, who are really terrific kids from everything we’ve seen (goofy, smart, reasonably well-adjusted, etc.) but with the kids’ parents. absolute wet noodles, coddling, afraid of their own shadow. their own insecurities are projected right onto their kids. it’s too bad, really.

    hey i got picked on as a kid. lots of kids did. guess what? bullies only respond to one thing. eventually, i learned to swing back and got a few pounds of flesh in the process. no more issues. it ain’t rocket science, folks.

    a sissified, coddled culture these days indeed. god help us if we ever needed the fat coddled masses to hold a gun and defend our freedom. i guess that will never happen because the nanny state will ensure that we’re strategically & philosophically aligned with those who would otherwise threaten us.

  6. Georgie

    If you look at a full day of teacher/principal/staff salaries that were not working with children on learning history, math, english, etc—that’s one place to start on costs. I can’t imagine why this isn’t some after school program that substitutes sports, cheerleading, etc rather than academics?

    If there is not weekly follow-up and no consequence is attached to those who bully or are mean its hard for me to see how this one day event is not just a feel good event.

    It would be good to know bullying statistics and see if in fact over the 13 years bullying has gone up or down based on this event.

    Or is that too much to ask?

  7. Georgie

    Here’s an idea….we can do as the Dutch have recently done and created “scum villages” to put all their bully’s in a 6 month course. Potitically correct has no bounds….

    Holland’s capital already has a special hit squad of municipal officials to identify the worst offenders for a compulsory six month course in how to behave.
    Social housing problem families or tenants who do not show an improvement or refuse to go to the special units face eviction and homelessness.
    Eberhard van der Laan, Amsterdam’s Labour mayor, has tabled the £810,000 plan to tackle 13,000 complaints of anti-social behaviour every year. He complained that long-term harassment often leads to law abiding tenants, rather than their nuisance neighbours, being driven out.
    “This is the world turned upside down,” the mayor said at the weekend.
    The project also involves setting up a special hotline and system for victims to report their problems to the authorities.
    The new punishment housing camps have been dubbed “scum villages” because the plan echoes a proposal from Geert Wilders, the leader of a populist Dutch Right-wing party, for special units to deal with persistent troublemakers.
    “Repeat offenders should be forcibly removed from their neighbourhood and sent to a village for scum,” he suggested last year. “Put all the trash together.”
    Whilst denying that the new projects would be punishment camps for “scum”, a spokesman for the city mayor stressed that the special residential units would aim to enforce good behaviour.
    “The aim is not to reward people who behave badly with a new five-room home with a south-facing garden. This is supposed to be a deterrent,” he said.
    The tough approach taken by Mr van der Laan appears to jar with Amsterdam’s famous tolerance for prostitution and soft drugs but reflects hardening attitudes to routine anti-social behaviour that falls short of criminality.
    There are already several small-scale trial projects in the Netherlands, including in Amsterdam, where 10 shipping container homes have been set aside for persistent offenders, living under 24-hour supervision from social workers and police.
    Under the new policy, from January next year, victims will no longer have to move to escape their tormentors, who will be moved to the new units.
    A team of district “harassment directors” have already been appointed to spot signals of problems and to gather reports of nuisance tenants.
    The Dutch Parool newspaper observed that the policy was not a new one. In the 19th century, troublemakers were moved to special villages in Drenthe and Overijssel outside Amsterdam. The villages were rarely successful, becoming sink estates for the lawless.
    “We have learned from the past,” said the mayor’s spokesman. “A neighbourhood can deal with one problem family but if there are more the situation escalates.”

  8. None

    We’re all disgusted by this cultural Marxism but who among you are willing to stand up against it. Make them stop!

    • Anonymous

      It doesn’t need to be Lexington & Concord redux; it is just GHS after all. However, one can let the children stay home that day let them learn that there are effective and subtle ways to give these misguided idiots the finger.

  9. kc

    As I am generally in favor of civility, I certainly look forward to the day when we all treat each other politely and with respect . . . unless, of course, we have to trundle someone off who seems to be out of step with prevailing thought. But I expect said trundling to be done politely and respectfully.

  10. AJ

    Sounds like the “Revenge of the Nerds” I’m a nerd scene: