Sunday, December 30, 2007

Wrong on so many levels

Have you seen this story? It left me spluttering with indignation. A six-year-old girl from Garland, Texas (of course she's from Texas. It was either here or Louisiana.) submitted an essay to a contest where the prize was four tickets to a Hannah Montana concert in Albany, New York. The girl won the contest. Why? Because the opening line of her essay was that her daddy died in Iraq this year. The little girl got a make-over at a tween clothing store plus concert tickets and airfare to Albany. The only problem? The essay was completely fake.

The name the girl gave isn't that of her father, and the Department of Defense has no records of a serviceman by that name dying in Iraq. The mother finally fessed up that the essay was a lie.

This is just appalling on so many different levels. The mother's excuse was that they wanted the tickets so much that they'd do anything to win. Which begs the question of who really wanted the tickets, the mother or the daughter? I sincerely doubt that any six-year-old would kill off an imaginary father to win concert tickets. And what kind of lesson does this mother think she's teaching her daughter? That it's ok to lie, cheat and steal if you really, really, really want something?

And then there's the whole issue of making up a dead dad to win. This is a slap in the face to all of the military families, more than 3,000 of them, who have lost loved ones in Iraq. These families have lost mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, sons and daughters in this war, and I doubt any of them would trade on the death of their loved one to win concert tickets. To use the death of a soldier, even a fictional one, to win a contest is insulting.

Our paper is reporting that the contest organizers have taken away the girl's prize, which is the right thing for them to do. Unfortunately, it punishes a little kid for her mother's greed, but perhaps she'll learn a lesson her mother obviously isn't fit to teach her.


Anonymous said...

Another hypocrite who pretends that is is perfectly OK for contest organizers to give ESSAY PRICE (!!!) for having fallen father.
I think the mother deserves kudos for demonstration the world this kind of blatant discrimination.
Somebody who deserved it, did not get the price because he or she did not have hero father. That is no different than somebody not getting the price because of not being white, protestant or republican. This is not just disgusting, this is probably illegal.
And if you do not condemn giving essay prices for having hero fathers then you are a pathetic nazi hypocrite too.

MadMad said...

Well, *I* think you are exactly right. Plus? You know how to spell, which is undeservedly underrated.

ckh said...

I have a six-year-old and she needs help with some ethical questions every once in a while. This is the sort of thing that this little girl needs to have happen if she's being taught by a questionable parent.

Then again, they could just blame others for their problems and never take responsibility.

And I have yet to figure out what the big deal about Hannah Montana is yet. I must be missing something...

hokgardner said...

I don't even really know who Hannah Montana is. My seven-year-old has never expressed any interest in her. She's far more into Hermione Granger, from Harry Potter, which is just fine by me.

And as far as the mother and daughter from the story, the woman's sister is now claiming that the mother didn't know the story was supposed to be *true.* Which contradicts the mother's initial statement of "We did what we had to to win."