I just don't even know how to begin. The parents and teachers of Mustang High School in Mustang, Oklahoma are inducing themselves into a social frenzy not unlike a group of orgiastic cult members.
Although "we have no scientific evidence" that these sounds actually do anything, parents and paranoid citizens of Mustang, Oklahoma, have recently become convinced that their precious, doe-eyed, innocent teenage babies are being corrupted by the evil things they are listening to on their headphones.
Yes, apparently the children of Oklahoma have discovered something that scientists, musicians, doctors, hedonists, and snake oil salesmen throughout the ages would be clamoring to discover. The young people in Oklahoma have discovered the actual specific frequency and pitch with which to induce a state of euphoric, immoral and ambiguous intoxication!!!
That's right - audio highs! Digital drugs!
Right now you may be asking yourself, "What ever happened to playing 'Hotel California' backwards on a record to hear the Satanic messages?" But a new day has dawned. Come on, kids! Get your MDMA MP3 right here! Are your parents pissing you off? We've got just the thing! Buy a Cacophony of Cannabis CD or get a genuine bootleg beer buzz (disclaimer - this one may not actually work due to the low quality.)
Seriously, Mustang High?
I am reminded of the story my mother told me when I was a kid about the one time she got in trouble for drugs in school.
I think she was in 7th or 8th grade, and there was a rumor going around that you could get really f-ed up by mixing aspirin in your Pepsi. I believe she was in the bathroom with some friends (where we know all drug use to happen in after-school specials) when one of them handed her a Pepsi and said, "Drink this."
My mom, being a rather congenial person who was not allowed to drink too much Pepsi around her Depression-era parents, obligingly took the beverage and gave it a few swigs. The girls then all started laughing and told her what she had done. (They were rebels.) Mom thought it was all very silly and didn't feel anything strange at all from the concoction.
Sure enough, within an hour of the offending act, the counselor received word of the girls' morally and permanently self-damaging deed of drinking Pepsi mixed with aspirin. All were in trouble. All received after-school detention.
I remember thinking this was a hilarious story as a child. First of all, I loved that anyone would be so ridiculous as to believe aspirin and Pepsi would get you high, but then that one would get in trouble for it when it doesn't even do anything in the first place...whaaa??? I was so very glad that I was able to grow up in a much more civilized time when McCarthyism was no longer an integral part of living, and whole parts of society weren't controlled for not fitting the mold. (Well, more or less that is what I thought.)
I would like to suggest the following to the frightened adults of Oklahoma - GROW UP. Creating a mass hysteria and basing policy on fear of the unknown is exactly the stuff that makes up scary science-fiction stories and totalitarian regimes.
It also alienates you from your children.
I guarantee that there three groups of students in this high school reacting to this whole crazy ordeal: (1) the students who are playing a big practical joke on everyone; (2) the students who are rolling their eyes at their dumb classmates who act like Pepsi and aspirin get them high and at the administrators who believe them; and (3) the kids who are actually so indoctrinated by their parents that they are now genuinely afraid to download songs from their chemistry lab partners for fear of being attacked by demons. (Note: the kids in the #3 category are made fun of by kids in the #1 and #2 categories.)
Like so many communities out there, the parents and teachers at Mustang High have a serious drug problem - the problem of dishonesty and closed dialog with their kids.
Parents, if you want to truly deal with drug use issues when it comes to your children, please don't wail and scream "DANGER!!!" because of your own phobias and then proceed to punish your kids with baseless, crazy claims.
Here's an idea - try genuinely talking to them. Treat your kids as people, and give them real information. Become someone that they can trust instead of someone who scares and lies to them. Check out the Safety First Project and try to deal with drug use by doing things that have actually been proven to reduce drug use and the associated harms.
Drug use will never, ever be stopped by scare tactics and punitive policies. This most recent event in Oklahoma only illustrates the great divide that parents and teachers in this country put between themselves and young people. Truly, it is way past time for a new and honest conversation about drugs and drug use.