Changing Times: Education in 1958 vs. 2008


Scenario : Jack goes quail hunting before school, pulls into school parking lot with shotgun in gun rack.

  • 1958 – Vice Principal comes over, looks at Jack’s shotgun, goes to his car and gets his shotgun to show Jack. They compare and contrast, then laugh uproariously about a recent hunting trip. Guns go back into their respective vehicles.
  • 2008 – School goes into lock down, FBI called, Jack hauled off to jail and never sees his truck or gun again.
  • Counselors called in for traumatized students and teachers.
  • Six parents sue.
  • Three don’t even have children enrolled in that school


Scenario: Peter and Mark get into a fistfight after school.

  • 1958 – Crowd gathers. Mark wins. Peter and Mark shake hands and end up buddies.
  • 2008 – Police called, SWAT team arrives, arrests Peter and Mark. Both are charged with assault, both are expelled even, though Peter started it.
  • Mark tries to cope with what happens; he then makes every attempt to “settle down and fly right”.
  • Eventually gets “the calling” his Senior year in high school.
  • Graduates from HS; Goes to seminary, becomes a priest, then “Youth Pastor” who within a brief, seven year span, the Diocese moves from parish to parish.
  • A lot..


Scenario: Jeffrey fidgets; can’t be still in class. Ends up disrupting other students.

  • 1958 – Jeffrey sent to office and given a good paddling by the Principal. Returns to class, sits still and does not disrupt class again.
  • 2008 – Jeffrey is sent to the school counselor and after three minute evaluation, is given note to give to his single parent mother who works three jobs to make ends meet after her child’s father skipped town one night, six years ago. Mother is also an alcoholic and severely addicted to Benzodiazepam. She sobers up enough to send Jeffrey to the free clinic who in turn, is given huge doses of Ritalin. Becomes a zombie.
  • Another “confirmed” case of ADD. School gets extra money from state because Jeffrey has a disability.
  • New funds are used to purchase additional Mexican flags to place above “Old Glory” on flagpole in order to make children of illegal immigrants, which now comprise 65-percent of school’s student population, feel more “at home”.
  • Sean Penn holds a press conference on the matter.
  • Susan Sarrandon and Tim Robbins sympathize with Jeffrey’s mother. They decide to give her all the profits from their last two movies.
  • She’s awarded a check for $635.92

Scenario: Billy breaks a window in his neighbor’s car and his Dad gives him a whipping with his belt.

  • 1958 – Billy is more careful next time, grows up normal, goes to college and becomes a successful businessman.
  • 2008 – Billy’s dad is arrested for child abuse. Billy removed to foster care, is sexually abused by older, foster brother. He turns to drugs and alcohol and the wrong element in school. Eventually, joins a gang The Bloods and Platelets. Knocks over a Crate and Barrel (this is a gang in an upper Middle Class neighborhood, you understand)
  • Gets caught, trying to sell stolen booty at a yard sale
  • Sent up to serve seven years.
  • Prison psychologist, Dr. Robert Turnbull tells Billy’s sister that she also remembers being abused and their dad goes to prison.
  • Mother also meets with Billy’s psychiatrist
  • She ends up having a torrid, two year long affair with him.
  • So does Billy’s dad.

Scenario: Danny gets a headache and takes some aspirin to school .

  • 1958 – Danny shares aspirin with Principal out on the smoking dock.
  • 2008 – Police called, Danny is expelled from school for drug violations. Car searched for drugs and weapons.
  • Stale poppy seed bun is found in bakery bag in back seat. Tests performed on poppy seeds indicated a false positive for morphine and heroin. Danny is deemed an “addict” by an angry, bitter Social Worker suffering from three as of yet undiagnosed STDs.
  • The High School Junior is forced to spend 36 days in state supported rehab.
  • Danny exits the facility addicted to cigarettes, coffee and group therapy


Scenario : Pedro fails high school English.

  • 1958 – Pedro goes to summer school, passes English, goes to college
  • 2008 – Pedro’s cause is taken up by state. Newspaper articles appear nationally explaining that teaching English as a requirement for graduation s racist. ACLU files class action lawsuit against state school system and Pedro’s English teacher. English banned from core curriculum. Pedro given diploma anyway but ends up mowing lawns for a living because he cannot speak English
  • Keith Olbermann writes, produces and anchors eight part series, “Pedro: One More Example of George W. Bush’s Epic Failure as President” to be aired on MSNBC in prime time

Scenario: Johnny takes apart leftover firecrackers from 4th of July, puts them in a model airplane paint bottle, blows up a red ant bed.

  • 1958 – Ants die.
  • 2008 – BATF, Homeland Security, FBI called. Johnny charged with domestic terrorism, FBI investigates parents, siblings removed from home, computers confiscated. Johnny’s immediate family is placed a terror watch list and is never allowed to fly again.
  • The New York Times declares him, “Jihad Jonnny”.
  • The Dixie Chicks perform in London and tell crowd of 900 in the Royal Albert Hall they’re embarrassed that Dick Cheney survived last heart attack, caused by his obvious responsibility for “Jihad Johnny’s” horrible life experience.
  • As a result, Alec Baldwin threatens to move to Europe.
  • Alarmed by this news, the E.U. submits a formal protest to The Hague
  • Baldwin moves to Salina, Kansas instead
  • Angry, but confused residents of Salina, Kansas file a formal protest with Al Haig


Scenario: Mikey falls while running during recess and scrapes his knee. He’s found crying by his teacher, Mary.

  • 1958 – She hugs him to comfort him. He feels better, pain is quelled, self-esteem reinstated, he continues playing. Goes on to become very successful lawyer
  • 2008 – Mary is accused of being a sexual predator and loses her job.
  • She faces three years in State Prison.
  • Is convicted; serves her time.
  • Becomes a lesbian.
  • Mikey undergoes five years of intense psychotherapy.
  • He also becomes a lesbian.



  1. I remember my first grade teacher, Mrs. Little, paddling her students who got anwers wrong in their workbook. Luckily, I got mine right. Isn’t that going to extremes?

    I feared the old bitch.

  2. I’ve seen the original layout of these and what you did to them is far funnier and smarter. Good stuff.

    Love your blog, by the way. Very funny

  3. I’ve seen this a million times, but what you did to it? WHAT YOU DID TO IT? You’ve made it PERFECT.

    That’s what you do to everything, I’ve noticed.

    P.S. I’ve also noticed that most of the problems our schools face today did not exist back then because kids were expected to behave and knew there were consequences if they chose not to. Memorable consequences.

    Now, the counselor just adds a few more letters of the alphabet by their names. Sigh.

  4. My high school days, 1981-84, summed up:

    I knew three people who had suffered gunshot wounds.

    My school banned guns…after a rash of cars and trucks being broken into.

    A friend fired a tear gas canister inside ourshop building.

    Another friend set off a medium sized pipe bomg in a stair well during the lunch hour.

    We had a shop teacher who would annually plane down a baseball bat into a wicked paddle (with speed holes) specifically for that year’s shop class. It was a badge of honor to sign the thing after he paddled you for some infraction.

    We would play massive, tackle football games on the field during the lunch hour. Many wounded limping back to class.

    And yes, we played dodgeball…but we called it battle ball!

  5. I laughed so hard I alarmed my husband!!! Only thing is, it’s sad how true this is. Very, very sad. But you’re too funny. ;D

  6. When I was in the 5th grade, I dropped a pencil on the floor and my teacher witnessed this horrendous act and struck me hard on my head with her open hand. It hurt a lot. My big Bro was in the class at the time and, after school, he told my stepmother about my misfortune. She was a tough Irish lady with an attitude. She promptly grapped my hand and we went back to school where we found the teacher still in the classroom. My stepmother grapped her by the shoulders and said, “if you lay a hand on my boy again I’ll come back beat the living hell out of you!” The teacher paled in fright, and mumbled something like she would be nice to me forever. On the way out, my stepmother turned and told her, “and his grades could use some help too.” My grades went up very soon. In that school, going to the vice principal meant a serious spanking with a paddle. Kids did all they could to avoid that instument of pain. We all turned out pretty good.

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