Thursday, October 13, 2011

Seven Students Arrested in SAT Scandal: An Unfavorable Score for Us All

By Pamela Chapman

I don’t know how many times in recent months I have talked to dear friends and associates about current events in our nation only to receive the same answer every time, “I don’t watch the news anymore. It’s too depressing.”

This is absolutely true. It is incredibly depressing. Here’s just a few of the headlines as I write this piece: Secret Government Banks Financing More Solyndras, Massive Search Underway for Endangered Girl, Disaster Recovery Projects in Limbo Despite Senate Budget Deal, Death Toll Rises to 13 in Listeria Outbreak, the Deadliest in a Decade.

By the time this piece is completed, edited and posted the above will not be news. It will not be current events but a stream of senseless mishaps of the past. Unfortunately, for many more, they will be events not ever known.

I used to be one of those people who believed if I watched the news, I would be flooded with negativity and not able to function for the day. I believed that the news of the day was bad energy, bad karma, and no good thing would come to me. Not knowing how to protect and cleanse myself from the negative energy, I believed I was doomed if I listened to what the media was reporting.

Today, I have come to learn how to protect myself. And, I now believe it has been a concentrated ploy to bombard us with huge doses of negativity so that we first become desensitized and then we simply turn off and choose to ignore the calamities of our neighbors, the senseless wars taking our children’s lives, and the severe level of depravity our nation and our world has reached.

I now believe that it was a plan to detach us, isolate us, leave us ignorant and ill informed so that the powers that be can easily invade and infect our simple little lives and we would be clueless but oh so happy and so enlightened. And while I could write my rant today about any of the tragedies and calamities we have chosen to ignore in the headlines the last few days, I write today about our youth. It is the story of the declining values of our youth that tug at my heart.

Only a few short weeks ago a group called The Barna Group (serving the information needs of the church by offering statistics, resources, seminars and custom research on current cultural and spiritual trends) reported “…nearly 50% of young adults surveyed said ethics and morals are based on ‘what is right for the person.’ The new study shows a significant divide between the nation's young adults and its older residents.” Well, I’m not too sure about the significant divide but what I do know is we, adults, have chosen to give up and check out.

On September 28, 2011 headlines read, Seven Student’s Arrested in SAT Scandal. The article went on to read,  “Sam Eshaghoff, 19, of Great Neck was arraigned on charges of scheming to defraud, criminal impersonation and falsifying business records, according to the Nassau County District Attorney's Office…. The six students whom Eshaghoff stood in for, names not disclosed because of their ages, were arrested on misdemeanor charges.”

With all the crap going on in our nation why did this one tug on my heart? Why am I not upset about our economy? Truly, I am but what upsets me more is we have turned off to what is happening to our societal youth and turned on to Facebook, Twatter, as called by one of my evening drama-series characters, and other mind-numbing, time-consuming social media, online games and distractions while life as we know it is quickly eroding.

Am I disappointed with what I believe to be the decline of morals and ethics? Yes! But that is where each and every man will have to give account for his own soul. What I am more perturbed about is the fact we have failed our youth. We have failed to show them right from wrong. We have failed to be the models of good behavior. We have failed allowing Dr. Spock to tell us to reason with our toddlers. We have failed allowing government to take control away from us, the parent, who works as a slave to give their child everything they need and more.

We have failed in teaching our children to respect authority while the government, the police and the justice system, now teach. We have failed to chastise for fear of an on-looker, who has never had the royal opportunity of being a parent, turning us in to Social Services.

So on Wednesday, September 28, 2011 police officers of Great Neck, New York walked into college arresting Mr. Eshaghoff to teach him right from wrong. Eshaghoff had sat in for six high-school students receiving thousands of dollars. The six high-school students were arrested and charged with misdemeanors.  You can read the FOX News report here (  When a news reporter asked a fellow college student about the incident his remark with a huge grin on his face, “It’s a great business.”

What have we become? I’ll give you a few suggestions.  We have become a nation whose values are compromised, weakened and then compromised some more. We have become a society where right has become politically incorrect and wrong is the acceptable trend. We have become a society where intrinsic values are shunned at the expense of our children—a nation where our children are the sacrifice upon the altars—the abomination of abominations.

While there is still time, let us once again, truly engage our children’s lives—loving teaching, and nurturing. Let us not be afraid to teach them right from wrong or discipline them with love in love. Let us not be afraid to read, research and comb the pages for truth so we are an informed people knowing exactly who and what agencies want to slowly strip away the intrinsic values of this nation.

Individuals, who give their power over to any person or group, any trend, at anytime who follow the herds of comfortable and complacent zombies eventually wind up with what they deserve—victimization and a lost society that ultimately perishes.

When I was a little girl, my wise dad, a WW II Veteran, used to say, “Daughter, America won’t be taken by an outside enemy, she’ll collapse from within.” I would laugh, of course. America had its problems, but it was strong; it was still the land of the free and home of the brave. However, four decades later, if we fail to provide integrity-filled modeling for our children showing what is right, wrong, good and evil; if we continue to model money as our all powerful God, I’m afraid my dad’s words will become prophetic. And that my friend, is an unfavorable score for us all.

Pamela Chapman is Founder of iAscend Programs, an author and certified life coach who has worked extensively with victim services organizations and advocated for many years.  She now spends her time writing and traveling, living each day as a new adventure!  Her latest blog is You Are Not A Victim

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