Search This Blog

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Vampires at Boston Latin School - Revealed

I am proud of having graduated from Boston Latin School. Founded in 1635, its alumni include Ben Franklin, Sam Adams and Leonard Bernstein. It's an exam school and fairly prestigious. For six years I studied Latin, presented in public declamation competitions, and enjoyed the knowledge that "doors would be opened" because of my developing organizational skills and work ethic. Since then I am happy to say I have found that last part to be absolutely true. The things I learned at BLS have brought me very far.

So when I woke up today and checked the weather on and saw this article I became very, very embarrassed.

Apparently, the new Headmaster had to send home a letter to parents quelling a rumor that vampires are in attendance at Latin. The whole thing made me feel like we were in some sort of fantasy novel world because the tone of the article intimated that the HM's message was not "vampires do not exist," only that "vampires do not go here."

Like, maybe the undead just don't score as high on the entrance exam.

Thanks to the comment section on the article as well as Facebook and Twitter I have not been alone in this. I came home from work to the typefaced griping of many members of the Latin family.

However, also due to virtual social networking, bits and pieces of the real story have been surfacing. A former classmate of mine, Adam Pieniazek shed some light on the situation for me by linking me first to this superior article from channel five news. Apparently there are some underclassmen who are calling themselves vampires, and when one student bit another the police were called to the school.

This news story which I think is actually a lot more interesting (why did she bite? was the other student teasing her? was it self defense? were they goofing off? does she really think she's a vampire or does she just dress in black and say that to keep the 'posers' away?) didn't get published until it was far too late.

Mr. Pieniazek, who is co founder of the growing web media company The 42nd Estate, also has a blog entry related to the event on which a couple current BLS students commented, further detailing the circumstances of the sensational story.

One of the comments was fairly intelligent. (So I will skip it.) The other one says this:

"well i jsut wanna answer this question fo is it true,
no noone got arrested but someone in my grade does thinks eh is a vampire. its scarey, but true. so dont try to hide it, because the bls student body know the truth. sorry teta [BLS Headmaster] you can’t cover up the truth."

I would like to point out just few things about all of this so I can take a nap and go to my show in peace  tonight.

When I was in school I knew several girls who claimed to be witches. I also know one of my brother's friends at English High claimed to be part of a coven of vampires. I think ( I hope) they most of them were just trying to be different and they knew it deep down. They could admit to someone in private "I'm not actually an undead mythical creature." But I don't know. There are two types of "those kids," in high schools. Some of them are trying things out, and some are actually mentally disturbed.

Now, from my knowledge of psych as well as my experience being one of "those kids," in high school I am willing to make a blanket statement suggesting that if this student actually bit another student to "prove," he or she was a vampire they may be the second kind of kid. They may need some extra attention from the guidance counselor.

"The bls body knows the truth," is an unsettling statement from one of the country's "best and brightest," because it suggests that this BLS student believes that mental illness is the same thing as actually being a vampire. The headmaster did not try to persuade the public that BLS students are without biochemical flaws.

If this student actually did bite another student there are a large number of things that could be at work, and almost all of them have to do with an undiagnosed or obviously unadvertised mental illness. None of them have to do with actual vampires. The headmaster isn't "covering up the truth," she's just trying to make everyone feel safe.

That being said, "there are no vampires here," is not a very useful position for a HM to take. "It is true and unfortunate that an assault occurred on school property but please be advised that the proper measures are being taken to ensure your child's safety on school grounds," sounds a bit less ridiculous and is a lot more on point. And doesn't even include the "V" word which guarantees a less embarrassing press release.


Adam Pieniazek said...

So it looks like the bite did not happen. In either case, this thing was handled poorly (by lots of people, the student body, the administration, the media, and myself too). Heck, the Boston Police spokesman even joked about it, which is a poor showing from a group that is supposed to serve and protect all of us, not ridicule someone who may be mentally ill.

I think the most logical thing I've heard all day about this is:

"And doesn't even include the "V" word which guarantees a less embarrassing press release."

There's really no need for the HM to have mentioned vampires. Doing so just fuels the fire even more and lets the press pass this thing around, fueling it even more.

She even could have added in that students should not threaten other students and that any such threats would be taken seriously.

P.S. You write damn well.

Anonymous said...

I agree with u. Although I still scatch my head that all immediately claimed students to have mental illnesses. And everyone including the police find it a funny joke. My mind always deviates to the scary reality. That most to all these types of ordeals are snuffed out and most to all parties avoid the subject altogether. What better way to keep the world ignorant of what could b the truth.