Teens in the Atlanta area are weighing in on Scandal & Shame as it relates to Lauren in The People In The Park.
In the book Lauren arrives home from school and sees her mother crying. The TV is tuned to a news channel. Lauren says:
I sat there mesmerized as the news anchor said, “Peter Williams, Founder of Williams Ortiz L.L.P., was arrested this morning. He is accused of bilking clients out of millions of dollars. An early estimate puts the figure at $300 million. Arrested along with him were other top officials of the law firm, including Samuel Ortiz, Chief Financial Officer, and Roger Moffit, Managing director. It is not clear the role they played in the fraud, what is known…” the anchor continued.
But my mind stopped when the reporter said Roger Moffit. My Dad. Roger Moffit. It couldn’t be. There had to be some mistake.
Roger Moffit, who always taught me right from wrong. Roger Moffit, who always told me that stealing is wrong. Not that Roger Moffit. It must be somebody else.
Later Lauren continues:
How could I hold my head up at school tomorrow knowing my daddy’s picture was broadcast all over the world as being a crook? There’s no way I could go back to school. But my friends were there. What would they think?
TeenSpeak Atlanta reporter Christina reports that Lauren’s reaction to her father’s arrest is spot on.
Most teens said they would be highly embarrassed if the same thing happened to their father. They didn’t know if the scandal or the shame they felt would be worse. Sabrina even went so far as to say that the shame would be so great that she would not even go back to school.
Another teen said she could not bear facing her friends and teachers. The shame of the situation would make her get on a plane and go to a place where no one knew her.
Christina said her reaction would depend on which relative was on the news and what crime they were accused of. If it was something really, really bad like murder or cheating people out of millions of dollars, she wouldn’t be able to show her face ever again.
Christina sums up by saying, “Family members can make teens embarrassed to know them. We are always told to be on our best behavior. But how are we supposed to feel if a parent engages in criminal activity?
“I think parents should set the example and display the high standards that they want us to display.”