Zeal for kids’ college admission replaced parents’ intelligence

Zeal for kids’ college admission replaced parents’ intelligence

Parents are to be commended for still trying to raise children who will one day make them proud. When each day’s news recounts more crime, lying, fraud, and other illegal behaviour, how do parents stick to their guns, telling their kids to be honest, hard-working, respectful and all the other worthwhile but old fashioned traits?

I’ve witnessed a lot of reprehensible actions in the world but the past few days have been stunning in the degree of audacity to get ahead by illegal means.

In the U.S. two movie stars who have gained fame for playing the part of upstanding Moms charged with bribing college officials — to the tune of $500,000 in one case — to ease their girls into an upscale university.

The punishment for each mother if convicted is up to 20 years in jail. Think about that for a minute.

According to news reports, two of the girls have already dropped out of classes. So a poor return on Mom’s monetary investment.

I was disgusted to hear one young woman say her main reason for wanting to attend the University of Southern California was to partake of the party life. No amount of Mom’s bribes will transform her frivolous attitude into a serious scholar keen to contribute meaningfully to the world around her. On the other hand, her upbeat outlook should cheer Mom when she visits her in jail.

What happened to the Horatio Alger model where young folk worked hard to get ahead, did their best to live by society’s rules while inching forward. Even if they didn’t become CEO of a multinational company, they had the comfort of knowing they got there honestly, fully deserving of their success, beholden to no one.

Certainly not to Mom or Dad’s greasing the rails.There’s a lot to be said for personal achievement at any level.

The students whose parents bribed college officials have been robbed of the personal satisfaction of getting there thanks to their own efforts. Chances are some of the students were unaware of their parents’ conniving. If they had known, would they have objected? Hard to say. They might have expected no less based on previous parental help to join clubs and sports teams.

Besides the loss of respect – not to mention lucrative employment, including long-running TV shows — these two parents will suffer, they’ve marred their daughters’ futures. How possible might it be for these students if, some day hence, they swallow what pride they have left and launch a second bid to enter college, this time on their own scholarly merits rather than Mom’s money?

And if they apply for a job, no matter how menial, which employer will trust references on their application form? With today’s Facebook and other social media, almost everyone is sure to know about these transgressions?

Sure, one must keep in mind these alleged charges against the parents have yet to be proven in court. But from media reports so far, investigators have a lot of solid proof of these bribes.

Had the charges been levelled against U.S. parents only, I would have shrugged and said, “Another scam.” But to find a B.C. father also charged with scheming to boost his two sons’ academic chances by allegedly paying large sums for a Florida man to write exams for them with the intent of improving their grade is most distressing.

If they can’t score high enough themselves, how did he expect them to measure up in college without continuing to falsify their test results?