Coffee Talk {In the Cafe}

Coffee Talk {Living Outside the Stacks}1. As many of you know, I have a twin sister and I also have a set of twins, so I read the story about the Belgian twins who chose to end their lives with the assistance of a doctor with a mix of sadness and whoa that’s intense. Usually, when people choose euthanasia it’s because they’re terminally ill and can no longer bear the pain. This was not the case with these twin brothers.

Both were deaf and had learned that they were going blind; faced with the knowledge that they would no longer be able to hear or see each other, they chose to end their lives.

I can’t imagine being so distraught that death is my only option. Furthermore, I think euthanasia is wrong. I view it as murder. And murder is wrong. For the record, I view suicide as murder as well.

2. A high school student  in Scranton, Pennsylvania is facing 14 years in prison for a tweet he posted during a high school sporting event. His tweet, which read:

If there is a facebook or twitter fight tonight over the HC MV game I will just blow up the schools and the students involved #GOON SQUAD

prompted an evacuation during the game and a series of security sweeps throughout the school. The student has since apologized and said he thought only his friends were able to read the tweet.

My first reaction was Seriously? Are there really teens out there who don’t realize the stuff they put online can be viewed by any and everyone? And then I thought about it and the answer is a resounding YES! I think we assume that teens have this innate tech knowledge because they were born during the digital era. Knowing how to use something is very different from understanding how something is used.

Kids today, while they’re living in the most globally connected age ever, have no concept of the greater world out there. Because things like Facebook, Twitter, and its like have always existed, they never had to learn that once they put something out there it’s out there for everyone to see.

As an educator and a parent, I think it’s incumbent upon us to stress to our children the importance of responsible usage of social media. It’s also as an educator and a parent that I think this kid needs to realize the impact of his “joke”. I’m just not sure what that punishment should be.

What had you scratchin’ your head this week?

  • Kids and people in general don’t know what a joke is now days. Jokes are suppose to be funny for all parties involved. Nothing was remotely hilarious about his threat to blow up the schools, especially after all of the school slayings that have happened recently. I don’t think he’ll get the full 14 years though.

    I think because it’s hard to tell if he was really joking or is just saying he was because he’s in hot. So, he might get 6 months and some house arrest for sure. Sad to see that people are ending their lives willingly. I just don’t agree with helping a person die period. I wish they would have exhausted all of their resources before giving themselves a death sentence.

    • Yeah, I think because of the proliferation of prank shows that people don’t know what a “real” joke is anymore.

      I can’t understand assisted suicide either. I know people are in pain and everything but these brothers were not in pain, they’re lives were worth living.

  • lawyerdoll

    It’s really too bad I can’t talk much about my job, due to attorney-client privelege… but my workday is spent wading through the colossally stupid and often hilarious antics and rationalizations of my clients.

    • I can only imagine that you must have a ton of “head desk” moments.

  • HollyM

    When I chose (on a forum I frequent) to express my opinion that the two in Belgium were making a huge mistake, and the friends and family who supported their decision should have encouraged them to live life as fully as possible, I was villified. I was told I “fell miserably short of a standard of compassion and empathy” and “who did I think I was, anyway?”.

    I will accept that there may be examples where ‘pulling the plug’ is the appropriate and reasonable conclusion. They are few and far between, however, and should remain exceptions to the norm.

    Who told these two that they did not matter anymore? That they were a burden? Because someone, or many someones, did. It is basic human instinct to survive, to fight for life, even for those of us who know that paradise awaits just beyond the veil.

    I find the whole affair just unbelievably sad. And indicative of a world that needs Jesus.

    • Girl, yes to everything ~ someone gave these two men the impression that their lives held no value except to each other. Their decision wasn’t simply based on the fact that they wouldn’t be able to see or hear each other, there was more. I think it takes a great deal of compassion and empathy to find value in life rather than death.

      Jesus really is the only answer.

  • I sure don’t think he deserves 14 years in prison.

    I hadn’t heard either of these stories. I learn so much from your head scratching!

    • They should consider his history too. If he was a good kid up until this point, I think community service should suffice.

  • I totally agree but what I find just as disturbing is the amount of parents out there who are in the same boat as far as not knowing how the technology works.

    We had a friend about a year ago come to us asking for help because he knew nothing about technology and was worried about his son. He had right to be worried after we began looking into his SM accounts. But even after that the father still chooses to remain computer and technology illiterate.

    Sad all around really.

    • So very true, Trish. We told our children that we will access their accounts and check their computers because these things are so very different from telephones, these things allow strangers into the home.

      Furthermore, the stuff they do now will last forever, unlike the stuff we did which could be washed off with soap and water or painted over if it was written on a wall…

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