An unpopular nerd receives a virtual swishy from one of the district’s paid cyberbullies while attending school from home.
“School is about so much more than data transfer from teacher to student,” says Dahmer High School English teacher Pamela Ratched. “It’s about the crucial socialization that takes part in the classroom, the lunchroom, and everywhere that students interact. High school teaches kids about the rest of their lives — the social order of American society, and their place in that order. And as we got into distanced learning, we started to see that order break down. We saw kids thriving in loving home environments when they should have been learning fear and a sense of helpless self-loathing here in school. We saw them exploring new avenues of learning when they should have been absorbing the helpful patterns of behavior that will groom them for a life of menial mediocrity. It was worrying, to say the least. Thankfully, we had access to a veritable army of cyber-bullies skilled at distanced behavioral regulation at our disposal. And best of all, because all these kids were on school computers, they couldn’t block the degrading abuse they so desperately needed to experience. Still, it’ll be good when schools re-open in the fall and we can get back to IRL conditioning. There’s just something about seeing the light go out in a child’s eyes that you can’t quite appreciate over Zoom.”