« Leading by Reading | Main | Secondary School Reform- Part One »


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Charlie A. Roy

Lying to get what we want or to make excuses is rather common place. I've worked with many families as a dean, teacher, and principal and when they are caught in a lie it is always interesting.

A couple of examples: One young lady brought a note saying she was going to the doctor's office at noon. In fact she walked across the street to a popular eatery to meet a friend from another school who had lied as well. The mom did actually write the note with full knowledge the daughter would be breaking the school's rules. When it all came to light because I was picking up a lunch order it was rather comical.

We have a policy of randomly checking notes to verify their authenticity. The mother kept up with the doctor's excuse for a full ten minutes. I then explained how worried I was she hadn't made it to the doctor because she was at Chilis. The mother became embarrassed and apologized for lying. The girls received the consequences for a class cut and I promised not to judge the mother by her worst moments but only her best. She begged me not to tell her husband who is a close friend. Fun, fun.

We do see it all the time. It violates a commandment I believe. We see it on senior ditch day when parents call their kids in sick. Just call and say my kid is an irresponsible ass who caves to social pressure. It is much more reasonable instead of debasing your dignity to lie for an adolescent.

I'll look forward to hearing about that fish. It will compliment my hunting trip for Sascwatch in Canada.


I usually give kids a chance to "rethink" their story and try telling it again when I'm sure that what they're saying doesn't add up. It depends on the situation, of course, but I rarely punish a made-up story the first time around.

Neil A. Rochelle

I truly don't think lying is hard wired. I do believe it is learned and higher order thinking. I also think that for most children (and adults), lying is motivated by human's competetive nature to "win", people's nature to want to please others or as it relates to our need for approval, to not want to disappoint people. I have never had an experience with someone lying that didn't have a root cause in one or more of these reasons.


We also lie for social reasons to keep people from getting their feelings hurt. "Of course your new haircut looks great." "Can't make it to your party, we have a family commitment." "Tell grandma thank you for the reindeer sweater." So, while lying can be for bad reasons (to get ahead, etc.), we also use it for perhaps nobler reasons. We teach our children to lie in this way and hope that eventually they will figure out the difference between good lies and bad lies. But while they're still developing, can we be surprised that they haven't yet figured out the difference?


Have you heard about the Texas girl who lied about being attacked in school? See the original headline, and all other crazy school house news at http://detentionslip.org.

The comments to this entry are closed.

About this blog