A Scandal A-Brewing?
I can already see a new scandal forming in Whyville. The source? An event written in a recent article titled Try-Outs for the Whyville Safety Patrol from City Worker, Cyranojoe. City Hall proposes a Whyville safety patrol, a group of kids whose responsibility is to report mischief. What do they have to do? Cyranojoe says, "all citizens should submit a 911 report every time they see an incident worthy of City Workers' attention" You know, like:
- asking for personal information; phone numbers or home addresses.
- asking to meet outside of Whyville (real life)
- child impersonators (adults)
- use of offensive language that makes Whyvillians feel scared, worried, or threatened
As he says: "At the end of the test period (the next week or two), City Hall will select those citizens whose reports are *always* on target to become the first members of the Patrol." First of all, who are you trying to target? Not many of the popular Whyvillians will be interested in this, becoming snitches for all of Whyville. So what we are looking at here is a bunch of bitter outcasts who feel wronged and lonely, given an excuse to eavesdrop on a conversation and report it if it's "bad". What's going to happen is that these people who sit in a room with no one to talk to will report every variation of a bad word (spelled wrong so that it cannot be picked up by Whyville screening for swear words). Even worse, chances are that these people might want to become one of these patrol people sooo bad that they will lie, and make up incidents, or maybe even initiate a fight to have a reason to report someone. I mean, what if the person who gets reported gets banished? You can't undo that.
It's a competition now. Exactly like saying, "Let's see who can see the most bad things and report them all! They get to be part of the Whyville patrol!" Some people will do anything to win, because they want it so badly. Just like Bracelet said in her article about the Prom (Popularity Contest: Thumbs Down), "But when it comes to the final night and they don't win, what a let down!! Now, that's just not right. It's asking for trouble." Of course, she was talking about voting for Prom King and Queen, but it can be applied here, too. People will do anything to win, no matter how much snitching, sneaking and fighting they have to do. Or, like the Prom, no matter how much bragging, begging and bartering...
What about those people who read the article and decide to be naughty to just for the fun of it? Maybe to get a kick out of it, maybe to prove that they are rebels against the Whyville way. I really don't get it. I mean, I predict this will cause more trouble then it helps.
And you never know if these people appointed to the safety patrol are completely trustworthy. They might have pretended to be a good reporter to get in, but then turn around and wreak havoc on everybody. Of course, City Hall can assure us that they will be dismissed immediately, but what about the report filed, what about if the person was banished, what if they can't tell which people were innocent and which were fined? And a question, if you have a history of getting taped and fined, does that take you out of the running? Or can any joker get into this?
I guess we'll see what happens. I might be proved to be completely wrong.
This is a worried Liss22, jetting out...
Note from City Hall: To clarify, all 911 reports will still be read by City Workers, not citizens. No one will be banished or seriously punished without certain proof of improper behavior. Members of the Whyville Safety Patrol will not last past their first false report -- and citizens so falsely reported will be recompensed (now there's an SAT word!) for their trouble. I understand and respect your concerns, Liss22. Thank you for voicing them in the Times.