yes, they should be “shmacked”

The word of the week is SHMACKED.  Which loosely translated is so wasted you are super dumb and useless.

Fallout from student drinking, drug video continues for Lower Merion

Published: Saturday, February 25, 2012   By Richard Ilgenfritz rilgenfritz@journalregister.com

Lower Merion school officials say the parents of all the students who have been identified in the now infamous video appearing to show local teens drinking and using drugs have been contacted.
Tuesday, Lower Merion officials learned about the video posted on YouTube that shows several students appearing to drink from bottles of alcohol and smoking from a bong. Late Tuesday, Lower Merion officials released a letter informing the community about the video. The letter stated that local police had also viewed the tape.
“At this point it’s in the hands of parents and law enforcement,” said Doug Young, school district spokesman

So Lower Merion School District has literally been the school for scandal for a few years now.  Evil spying laptop cameras, busing, budget, politics, costs of expansion of the high schools, pick a topic.

How does this matter in Chester County?

It matters because of this Shmacked Movement that they found themselves ensnared in could be any area.  There is this project by Arya Toufanian, 19, of Potomac, Md and  Jeffrie “Yofray” Ray, a 2011 graduate of Lower Merion High School in Ardmore, PA .  In a nutshell it is like girls gone wild for the college party scene.

That in and of itself is bad enough, but then what brought this all home to the eyes of school and law enforcement officials was the purported video featuring high school students.  High school students.  That’s nuts.

I was sent the letter LMSD officials sent out by a friend with teens in one of the LMSD high schools:

From: “Lower Merion School District” <emailalert@lmsd.org> Date: Feb 21, 2012 9:19 PM Subject: Important Letter to Harriton and Lower Merion Parents To: [REDACTED]

Dear Parents/Guardians:
Earlier today, we learned about a company that posts YouTube videos of high school and college students engaged in apparent underage drinking and illegal drug use. One of the videos included footage of current and former LMSD high school students. Though the video is no longer online, we had an opportunity to view it and it was shared with local law enforcement.

The activities depicted in the video are reprehensible and cause for great concern. They include binge drinking, marijuana use, substance-induced violence and several dangerous situations involving drugs and alcohol in vehicles. Though all of the activities occur off campus, and the film appears to have been recorded last summer, it is critical that there are swift and appropriate consequences. Where we have the authority and power to act and respond, we will. We are in the process of notifying parents of students that appear in the video and will do so by Thursday afternoon. We ask for continued parental support in conveying the dangers of alcohol and substance abuse.
Additionally, we remind you that there are extensive resources available in our community to address substance abuse issues and addiction. While this information is always shared directly with families whose children are involved in specific incidents, we encourage you to contact your child’s school counselor or any member of the LMSD health services team at (610) 645-1829 for confidential guidance and support if you have any concerns or questions.
The video also serves as a reminder that whether or not your child is engaging in harmful and illegal activities, there may still be significant consequences for attending events where such activities occur. In this age of social media and immediate electronic communication, video and/or photographic images often do not distinguish the “innocent” from the “guilty.” Students that participate in school sports or other competitive activities may face a team suspension even if they haven’t had a sip of beer, but are found to have been “in the room” at a party where alcohol is served.  On the line are college acceptances, scholarships and personal reputation. It’s simply not worth the risk.
We trust this troubling incident will serve as a valuable learning experience for our students and families. Our staff is available to support you should you need assistance or guidance in discussing this matter with your child. As you know, our primary concern is ensuring the safety and well-being of all students. We appreciate your ongoing support and dedication to this effort.
Sincerely,
Steven Kline Principal, Harriton High School
Sean Hughes Principal, Lower Merion High School

So over on the SAC site a lot of the comments are concentrated on whether or not the school district should be involved or not.  Some comments even talk about Montgomery County convening a grand jury, which is a ludicrous thought in my opinion and how would that even happen?

As a matter of fact, all the back and forth all over the web misses the point:  that regardless of the fact that we were all (or a good portion of us)  young and dumb once, this takes young and dumb to a new level that does bump it up a notch into possibly more dangerous territory because all these kids are being filmed.

I am sure that these budding party documentary dudes are having people sign releases, but seriously what did they think was going to happen if they did this with high school students too?   And face it, these budding entrepreneurs are looking for a pay-day off this, which is fine, but don’t they get that no matter how they try to justify this, that this is really not the best idea?

So the high school video disappeared and the e-mails came out from the creators says the videos are all innocence and light and not real anything.  My eyes are rolling.

I am kind of surprised that kids’ parents are o.k. with this, and I wouldn’t be surprised if more kids from this area aren’t caught up in this on various college campuses.  And the thing is this, when these kids get a little older, how do they think graduate schools and potential employers are going to view these actions caught on tape?  See that is the thing of it, they aren’t partying like rock stars on the down low when it lands on video.  It will last time in memorium.

And let’s talk about the behavior.  Like it or not, it is risky. What happens if a kid gets hurt?  Gets alcohol poisoning?  Causes a deadly accident because they got in a car wasted and more?

Do I sound like an old fart?  Am I becoming my mother?  Well let me tell you, thanks to the fact that my parents were involved in what we did in high school and actually parented, I am alive to write this post today.  No, I wasn’t Sister Popularity when my parents called to see if alcohol was being served at a party, but now as an adult I can say I would rather have had that in the long run than parents so worried about aging, not being cool, and being their kids friends first and parents last, or just ignoring their kids for others to worry about that they got messed up in crap like this.  Because face it, this is all cool to these kids now, but ask them again in 10 or 20 years and I bet the response might be different.

When I was in high school I remember something in the local paper about a kid at a party out around Berwyn (or somewhere around that area) that ran over another kid passed out on the road at a high school party – they thought the kid was a pile of leaves.  Flash forward to the years just post college.  A woman I knew who was bright and beautiful starting a fabulous career used to get a little too shmacked with great regularity.  One night some of us took away her keys and asked a bartender to NOT give them back.  Somehow she got them back and she wrapped herself around a tree on I believe if memory serves, on Darby Road in Haverford Township.  In an instant she became not only severely mentally challenged with little or no recall of anything or anyone after a certain point, but a quadriplegic as well.

So don’t tell me there are no consequences to being shmacked.  No matter what generation we are, we know it happens. And maybe it’s just me, but I think it’s hip to be square.  I think what these kids are doing is stupid on any number of levels, and parents that support this have rocks in their heads.  There is way too much that could go wrong here, and eventually I think it will. And these kids who created this?  They are enjoying their 15 minutes of fame.

A selection of media stories are below.  What are your thoughts? My ultimate thoughts is this is not ok.  It’s dumb, dangerous, and risky.  Would I have done this at that age? Hell, no.

Founder of controversial video showing L. Merion teens partying wants to discuss it, but school officials decline

February 24, 2012|By Bonnie L. Cook and Ashley Nguyen, Inquirer Staff Writers

The founder of I’m Shmacked, the enterprise that posted a controversial video online of Lower Merion teens partying, says he wants to “hash it out” on live TV with school district officials who objected to the post.

Arya Toufanian, 19, of Potomac, Md., defended his business Thursday, saying he “was not at all upset about Lower Merion complaining.”

School spokesman Doug Young declined to be drawn into any debate with Toufanian.

“Our focus is on the safety and well-being of our students,” Young said, “and that’s the bottom line.”

NBC10: Lower Merion Students Filmed Drinking, Doing Drugs/Lower Merion School District officials say they saw students drinking and using drugs on a YouTube video series called “I’m Shmacked.”

By  Teresa Masterson
|  Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012  |  Updated 4:59 PM EST

Current and former Lower Merion School District students have been seen allegedly drinking alcohol and using drugs in YouTube videos posted online, district officials told parents this week.

The alleged underage drinking and drug use was on a YouTube video series called “I’m Shmacked.” The Twitter and Facebook pages promoting the movie called “I’m Shmacked” describe the project as a film “documenting the experience of a weekend at 20 of the best and biggest universities around the United States intertwined with a book and a Web site being pitched to major publishers and studios.”

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