RON HART: I won't blow smoke up your graduation gown

Published: Thursday, May 9, 2013 at 05:28 PM.


LAS VEGAS — In yet another bad decision, an education administrator asked me to give a high school commencement speech. The principal must know I write a column; he obviously hasn't read it.

When I questioned his wisdom, the principal said, "Just give the kids some sound graduation advice." I asked, "Should I tell them I hear the Monsanto plant is hiring?" "No," said the edu-crat, “encourage them. Tell them they can do anything they want.” "So I should lie? Have you seen most of these kids? They can’t do anything.” “No, we don’t see it that way.  Give them hope,” he said.

That’s the problem. Kids are getting pie-in-the-sky advice and, judging by obesity rates, they are also eating the pie.

Should I turn into Maya Angelou and tell entitled kids who graduated because of grade inflation, who think Mao Tse-Tung is the Asian equivalent of French kissing, who don’t read newspapers and who can’t find Syria on a map, that they can do anything? Or would a healthy dose of reality be preferable?

Guess which one I am going with.

No kid who has been a doped-out, video game-playing slacker his whole adolescence turns it around because the town’s poet laureate tells him to “reach for the sky but keep your feet on the ground.”

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