Affluenza - Or Grit and Joy?

Wednesday, January 20, 2016 - By: Bud Patel

I trust that you enjoyed a wonderful holiday with family and friends and wish you a wonderful 2016.

The holidays provide an opportunity for reflection and perspective. While we all have challenges, we are the fortunate few who enjoy the privilege of a Brentwood education. We hope that this honour is never taken for granted. Part of our magic is no matter one’s background – age, stage, gender, ethnicity, etc. - we do our daily tasks/chores for the betterment of our community. As Head, I am mindful of maintaining this meritocracy.

News reports like the recent case of a young man (Ethan Couch) in Texas bring this notion home. Tragically, in 2013, driving while intoxicated as a 16 year old boy, this young man slammed into a parked vehicle causing four deaths and numerous injuries. His defense made headlines. The excuse for his behaviour - Affluenza. A Google search yields the following definition - "a psychological malaise supposedly affecting wealthy young people, symptoms of which include a lack of motivation, feelings of guilt, and a sense of isolation."

It amazes me that such a term can exist! The question is who is responsible for creating this new affliction? Parents? Schools? Society? Perhaps all the above.  Whatever the case, we must protect our students from this sickness. I am confident that the combined wisdom and partnership of our faculty/staff, houseparents, and parents will ensure our campus remains an affluenza-free zone. Our two core values of Grit and Joy will keep us on an even keel.

De Manu in Manum,

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