Degrassi season 12 has been interesting to say the least. It’s mini lessons have pretty much not had lasting repercussions on the characters or the school community. Everyone of the characters tragic flaws has been exposed and tied off without loss of limb.
Years ago when the issues were primarily a vehicle to mature characters and teach allegories, even after it all, life would get better. When Emma dealt with an eating disorder, Craig with depression or Darcy with rape, there was hope.
This season it looks like the writers have decided the school environment is too safe. From the promo for next week’s episode, it looks as if Campbell or Cam, is going to commit suicide.
From the standpoint of an adult who sometimes uses this show in school, clearly this can be used as an example of the outcome of bullying and teenage peer pressure. Cam clearly has been crying out for help and no ones taken care to notice. His teammate, well team captain, Mike Dallas, tells Cam to stop crying in public. Yet, in the dark Cam appears to have been cutting himself. There’s a story in the New York Times this week about a suicidal male student. The spotlight only this kid appears to only make it worse.
But back to Degrassi- the characters introduced over the past few seasons have grown and the allegories manageable. But how will viewers and students react to his death? As someone who has lost a few friends to suicide, it’s quite painful trying to reconcile reality versus what we wish to be. I’ve often wanted missing friends, not their ghosts. I’m wondering if the new generation of kids who don’t remember 9:/11 or when well every flag flew half staff for our deceased army officers. How will the kids of today who are so desensitized to violence or death react to the loss of a popular character in terms that may hit home? The kids initially showed compassion over the Sandy Hook shooting but slowly but that’s waned. Will this episode and its ripples actually reach a few kids? I can only but hope so…..
[chester kent ]

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