Fast Times at Stuyvesant High

Fast Times at Stuyvesant High

High school certainly isn’t like what it was when I was there. Fr. Rob Johansen comments on an article about a New York City high school where sexual experimentation of all kinds takes place… right on school property.

The article examines the sexual mores of students at one of New York’s elite magnet schools, Stuyvesant High, and discovers the “Cuddle Puddle”, which becomes, I think, a metaphor for the sump into which our culture is draining.

What we see is the complete narcissism of our age, and the result of the children of a generation that completely devalued and debased sexuality. “Whatever” is the motto. Whatever, indeed.

On the other hand, I have my doubts that this is mainstream. This is probably the extreme example of this phenomenon. While I don’t doubt we’re headed in this direction on the slippery slope, what was the New York Magazine’s motive for highlighting it? Is it a condemnation? Or do we detect a hint of approval or even wistfulness that the author’s high school experience wasn’t like this?

I’ll be curious to see the later lives of the “cuddle puddle” participants, the drop-out rate, the suicide rate, the divorce rate, the abortion rate, and so on. It looks fun and happy now, but underneath is only darkness and emptiness.

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Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
  • NOW I understand why it was given a place of honor in a recently viewed episode of Law and Order.

  • This was brought up in a class I had today by two students who graduated from that high school, one in ‘04 and one in ‘03. Neither of them new anything about said “Cuddle Puddle,” and neither do their siblings still at the school. At any rate, I wouldn’t take it for fact.

  • I don’t know how truthful the article is, but even if it’s only half right it’s profoundly sad.  I hope that parents don’t believe that Catholic schools are necessarily better than public schools, though.  Eons ago (back in the early ‘70s) when I attended a Cathoic high school, at least 1/4 of my classmates claimed to be sexually actiive.  Some were even involved with teachers and coaches.  One teacher, who later became the principal, used his freshman biology class to speak (quite crudely at times) about all manner of sexual activity, asking students about their experiences and making suggestions that were totally against Church teachings.  Many of the teachers who did not engage in such behavior still winked at it.

      Yet another reason I am glad we homeschooled our own children.  FWIW, not only did we save a bundle for all those years,  but they also earned academic scholarships which now cover their college tuition.

  • My mother teaches in a medium-size public school in rural Pennsylvania and while this article is a bit extreme, it is not that far off. Students are often sneaking into the darkened or isolated parts of the school for sex.  There is now a homosexual, bisexual, and transgendered club at the school.  Internet porn addictions are now ensnaring boys in the 7th and 8th grade.  Middle school and high school girls are launching their own explicit websites. The list goes on and on. My mother assigns a number of writing projects in which the students are very forthright about their lives which gives her an unvarnished view of what is actually going on out there.

    Even though I am only 11 years out of high school, things are far, far worse than when I was in school. (And they were already very bad!)

    The best man in my wedding is a 4th grade teacher in the same district and his stories are not nearly as explicit, but one can already see the roots of the problem. Through his bi-annual parent teacher conferences he sees adultery/rampant divorce, absentee fathers/working mothers, and active homosexuals raising children.

  • How many of these kids are going to show up at Princeton or MIT with a nasty, perhaps incurable, sexually transmitted disease?

  • Hopefully none. It is not right for Christians to merely sit on the sidelines and criticize. We are to be a light to the world and to go into the battle for souls.  Where is the Church for these children?

  • Exposing this stuff is the beginning of making it go away.  Exposing it is shining some light into the darkness.  There may not be a whole lot more we can do right now.  This really is spiritual warfare.