6.20.2005

the next generation in white collar crime

Are you looking for young talent? Do you need new blood? Would you like someone to take your fledgling business and turn it into a Fortune 500 company with multi-billion dollar profits? Whatever you do, don't look in Seattle.

The Friday edition of the Seattle Times reported in a story titled "Parents set bad example" that parents are cheating to get their kids into school. Not to get them into a private school, but a public one, John Stanford School, an elementary school in Seattle's Wallingford neighborhood.

Big friggin' deal you ask? Yes.

The rules are simple, you must live with in a half mile of campus to be able to enroll your kids. Parents that live too far away are fabricating their home address just so their kids can attend. So far, four kindergarten students have had their enrolment for next September revoked due to these overly competitive parents.

How are they cheating? Some have leased apartments in the area but left it vacant and have no intention of living there. One set of parents who tried this tactic submitted their lease to the school for proof of residence, not realizing that the lease specifically states no kids allowed. Hmm. Another lease was for a studio apartment too small for a five person family.

A parent living in the Wallingford neighborhood was approached by a parent from a different part of the city and asked if she would trade utility bills so that the cheating parent could provide proof of eligibility to the school.

Apparently, neighborhood parents are fed up and ratting out the cheats, even submitting lists of suspects into the school.

Times columnist Danny Westneat asks in the article "Do we even know what cheating is anymore?" He states that a half dozen parents have shamelessly admitted to him that they have falsified information to get their kids into a school they don't qualify for.

In an age where cheating has become the norm in high schools and college campuses across the US, this is a sad testament to the merits of the greatest country in the world. We're better than this, aren't we?

Parents, WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?! Do you even realize what you are doing to your children? You are teaching them that it is OK to cheat and swindle to get ahead, that honesty is for losers, the temptation of the dark side, to do everything they can to crush the competition.

You are raising the next generation of Enron, Tyco, and Adelphia scandals. You are showing them how to survive in the corporate world by training them to be a corporate criminal. You are breeding bad CEOs. Shame on you.

What a sad, little world.

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