Crossing the Line – Wisconsin School Gets Kids to Snitch on Parents

Marinette Middle School 2At Marinette Middle School in Wisconsin, 5th-8th graders are being asked personal questions about their families during a deceptive game that has been set up by the school.

Cross the LineThe game is called “Cross the Line” and many outraged parents believe that it does just that.

During the game, administrators ask them personal questions in front of all their classmates.

For example, students are many times asked if their parents are alcoholics, use drugs or are divorced, information that could potentially get parents in a lot of trouble. They were also asked if anyone in their family has been to jail.

Students have also been asked extremely personal questions about themselves, like if they had ever considered committing suicide or if they cut themselves.

Unbelievably, school administrators believed that this “game” would help the kids to be better and kinder friends.

In a statement from the Marinette Middle School Principal, Shawn Limberg, it says students had the choice to participate, and this was part of a bullying prevention program. Limberg said the intent was to “build stronger, more respectful relationships among students.”

Of course, Limberg also said the “game” was completely voluntary, an assertion that was disputed by one young girl who told her mother she’d have to go to in-school suspension if she didn’t participate.

“Those are questions that no child should have to answer,” said Janette Sadowski, a parent of a 6th grader whose daughter was the student who chose not to play the game and was threatened with an in-school suspension.  Several other parents voiced their concerns and had them brushed off.

To see a report from the local Fox station click here.

Reading between the lines, it doesn’t look as though Marinette Middle School was duly chastised. It sounds like they had every intention of playing the “game” again. According to a Yahoo news report, ”Principal Limberg said they will let parents know the next time they plan on playing this game.”

I think we can all see how easily this could go wrong. This collection of information from unwitting children could be used to instigate social services investigations, to find out which parents are using their 2nd amendment right to own firearms, whether they’ve complied with Obamacare, what their lifestyle choices are, how they practice their religious beliefs, what the family’s political beliefs are, or to single out kids for forced medical or mental health treatment against the wishes of their parents. We need only look at all of the zero tolerance hysteria to see how quickly this could get out of hand.

studentsMost kids don’t understand the greater ramifications of sharing this type of information, and that is exactly what the administrators are counting on. They are taking advantage of a relationship of trust between students and faculty, and exploiting that for their own purposes. So many things are illegal or illicit now that it’s impossible for a child to judge whether what he or she is saying will get someone into trouble.

If your children attend public schools, it is vital that you discuss things like this with them and teach them about privacy. Schools abound with innocent-seeming activities like “quizzes” and “games” that are just digging expeditions into a child’s home life. Teach your children to politely refuse to participate in activities like this, despite threats of punishment. Let your child know to insist that the school phone you, and that you will back them up for refusing to divulge private information.

Then, let the school fear the wrath of mom and dad. If we don’t teach our kids to resist by example, then how will they ever learn to do what’s right in the face of threats from perceived authority figures?

Marinette Middle School 3 

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