Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Breaking the Law is Tough

Stumbled across this piece on Drudge.
The students had a role-play project: assume a Latino identity, build an imaginary life in your home country and develop a workable plan to immigrate to the United States.

Try it legally, Erica Vieyra told her 40 senior Spanish students at Olentangy Liberty High School. Fill out the correct documents, follow the proper steps. And then, after they spent days completing the actual paperwork from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, she took out her red ink pad and stamped a big, fat DENIED across every request.

Now, she told the students, come illegally. Forge your documents, find a way across the border. Then, research real ads and find a place to live in Columbus. Figure out what it would cost, how to get food. Plan how to survive.

Certainly an interesting project, but perhaps somewhat misleading. From the information in the article there didn't seem to be any effort to get CITIZENS involved in changing what may be an unjust set of laws. The only effort was to bypass them!

Think about it... Just what lesson is the teacher attempting to instill in her students?
But she cautions that the point isn't to sway the students, only to teach them a little empathy.
Empathy for whom? Every English speaking American that must pay for multi-lingual documents? Every immigrant that went the legal route?

I don't see any other lesson besides this: Empathy (feelings) supersedes common sense, or said with more clarity - criminals are victims first. It's too easy to extend that to other lawbreakers. A drug dealer has a hard life, but he's only a victim? A drunk kills someone with a car, but he's only a victim?

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