‘A Poor Leader’

The essence of leadership is bigotry and cowardice, apparently:

A student body president in Alpharetta, Ga., said he was removed from his leadership post after school administrators disagreed with an idea he proposed to make the titles of prom king and queen open to gay couples.

Reuben Lack, 18, was removed from his post on Feb. 8, 2012 for “pushing personal projects,” according a suit the teen filed in federal court.


“The student was essentially a poor leader,” Suzann Wilcox Jiles, attorney for the district said in a statement issued to theAtlanta Journal Constitution. “He behaved in manner not becoming of student body president including but not limited to rescheduling meetings with little notice, directly going against the instructions of the faculty advisers.”

I am really getting back in touch with my inner 17-year-old girl because adults, seriously, are we doing anything right lately? Turn up the Beastie Boys, fuck authority, all that. Heavens. Rescheduling meetings, this kid was doing. If that got you kicked off a volunteer post for real, there’d be nobody left in America to do anything.

By the way, what the actual fucking fuck is this about:

Lack, whose Facebook says he is straight, alleged the suit that administrators at Alpharetta High School violated his first amendment rights when they shut down a student council meeting discussion on modifying the prom king and queen tradition to make it accessible to gay couples.

Whose FACEBOOK says? Couldn’t you call him up and ask him, if it was essential that you know if he was behaving like a decent human being out of some Homosexual Hive Mind solidarity? Or were you afraid that his response would be appropriately something like, “What business is it of yours which BY THE WAY IS MY ENTIRE POINT?”

I know this is how things work. People push forward, people push back. I am getting impatient, though. We have a limited amount of time on this planet, guys, and we are wasting it trying to go backward and be less. We are wasting it arguing with kids who get this so much harder than we do. Being a teenager is like … you’re trying on a bunch of things, finding something that fits. Here comes this kid who says, “If being gay fits you, why the fuck shouldn’t you be prom kings together?” And it’s the adults who are jumping up and down to protect others from this dangerous concept, lest it implode the whole world, and the kids are in no danger from this at all.

You know what kids are in danger from, besides being shot by paranoid fuckholes who think their Skittles and hoodies are skeery? Besides hunger and poverty and the cost of college and the general fact that the air might not be breathable when they grow up? Besides urban blight and the tap water lighting on fire and drug-dealing gang members and poison in their spinach and how a car could paste them all over the freeway at any moment? You know what kids are in danger from?

They’re in danger from fucking adults who are supposed to be their role models telling them that the best they can hope for in life is to avoid upsetting somebody, that the glory raging inside them should be blunted and blurred, that they should only ever ask for what they think they can get, and that they should accept that something called “the real world” is an inevitability instead of something that is the way it is because nobody’s been strong enough to change it yet.

Let’s reschedule the meeting about gay prom royalty to never, and get on to the real question of leadership here.


7 thoughts on “‘A Poor Leader’

  1. “The student was essentially a poor leader… directly going against the instructions of the faculty advisers.”
    Yes, what kind of leader doesn’t do what he’s told?

  2. When I think of some of the crazy platforms that student council candidates and student council pushed when I was in High School…
    Now if he were pushing for bring your gun to school day, I would call it very ill advised. Even in that case though, the school administration (principal, school district, school board) would have the final say. Worst case would be the council passed it and somebody would have to take responsibility for saying “no.” As a govt regulator my experience though is that the number one priority of school board members is to avoid any hint of conflict.
    FYI, Alpharetta 40 years ago was a sleepy little town. Since then, it has expanded population considerably as a bedroom community as Atlanta expanded. As such, I would have thought the area a little more enlightened.

  3. I have to simultaneously congratulate Lack on the courage shown while questioning any questions of sexuality, though. If you ask high school kids if they are gay or straight (or bi- or whatever) how many will give an honest answer. Especially in face of the show of hostility from the school board!
    I’m sure the attorney could make this an issue of public funds and unequal rights.

  4. A: That last paragraph is gold. I read that and thought about the guy I work for, who epitomizes that kind of approach to everything he touches.
    He runs a mental health clinic. He stands for nothing of any substance. He has no passion of any kind for anything. He doesn’t seem to believe that injustice ever occurs. If on the other hand, you do, then you get labeled as “inappropriate”, or “non compliant”. His approach to authority seems to be “go along to get along”. I’ll be out of there really soon, because I feel icky being around people like that. My whole experience there feels unreal. I tried to change this, but was soon taken aside and had my “errors” pointed out to me.
    This kind of thing has become a slow poison in this country. Everything can be settled by arbitration; by reasonable people discussing matters calmly. People who make a fuss are seen as disruptive, and need to be restrained or removed (or treated) so that the group can get on with the business of the day. It’s like the conformity of the 50’s has come sneaking back (did it ever really leave?) like some vampire that we foolishly pulled the stake out of. And it’s terribly dangerous to kids, because they learn early on what the price is for upsetting the grownups, and learn to avoid doing so. The student council president was removed because he went off the reservation, so as to provide an example to the others. God forbid a young person should take a principled stand for anything; should actually be a leader instead of merely occupying a leadership position.

  5. Oh very much yes. Harlan Ellison and others were pointing out the dangers of this in the mid-Sixties. I know for a fact that I was basically an idiot until I was at least 33, but I didn’t have very many people pointing out hownot to be an idiot until my late 20s.
    I wish to FSM that “grown-ups” would get it into their thick skulls that every moment is a teachable moment, whether you intend it to be or not, and you can teach people a number of things about behavior and priorities without even thinking. Which, unfortunately, is how a lot of lives are lived.

  6. filkertom, turn it around. “Grown-ups” need to be on the receiving end of teachable moments sometimes. Looks like Mr. Lack inadvertently gave them one, and they responded poorly.

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