Sometimes you look at a story and just have to say, "what the hell were they thinking?"

Everyone knows that high school kids can be some of the most perverse people in the world. Show me one 14-year-old boy who hasn't made a calculator say "80085" and I'll show you a 14-year-old boy who is lying to you. Yet, somehow, the administration at Memorial High School in Houston, TX didn't take any of this into account at a recent assembly.

The assembly was for freshman students to get to know the administration and ask any questions they had about high school. The way it worked was that they were able to text in questions anonymously and then the questions were displayed on huge screens in the auditorium where everyone could see it. We all obviously know how this ended up working out, right?

As anyone with any sort of brain would expect, being able to anonymously say anything you want and being 14 years old turned into a contest in vulgarity. The 'questions' being asked went from absurd, to vulgar, to racist, and somehow the administration didn't see this coming.

According to ABC13 in Houston, no students have been disciplined, but the freshman class has been required to attend meetings to discuss what happened. This letter was also sent home to all of their parents:

Dear Parents,

In advance of tonight's Open House, we want to inform you that MHS has been contacted by several news outlets regarding our August 28, 2015, Freshman Assembly. There may be media near the school this evening.

To give you context about the assembly, here are the facts. In an effort to gain feedback from freshman students about their first week of school, we used online "Today's Meet" technology. Students were invited to type questions on their phones, which were then anonymously projected in a scrolling manner on the screen. As I shared with freshman parents via email that afternoon, we were disappointed by many of the comments. Many were racial, sexual, and just plain offensive.

In response to the inappropriate comments by some during the Freshman Assembly, we took the following immediate actions:
Emailed all faculty and freshman parents before the end of the August 28 school day and asked parents and to have a conversation with their students about the assembly
Spoke directly to freshmen parents attending the MHS Booster Club-sponsored breakfast on September 2nd
Developed follow up advisory lessons and met with all advisory teachers on Thursday morning, Sept. 3, before advisory period. All freshman students had a follow up advisory lesson in their advisory class on that day
Included the Freshman Assembly as an agenda item for the Campus Improvement Team on Sept. 3
This was a teachable moment for all of us. We assumed the best of our students, and when some of them let us down, we responded. As I told freshman parents in the email to them that day, raising up this next generation of young people, especially in the age of social media, is a daunting task, but together, we can make a difference.

I look forward to seeing you all at Open House tonight at 6:30.

Lisa Weir

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