With the social justice movement gaining more and more momentum, the word “shaming” continuously gets thrown around a lot. There is fat-shaming, skinny-shaming, slut-shaming, virgin-shaming, tattoo-shaming, shame-shaming. Shame-shaming-shaming, and everything else under the sun. While shaming people for their ways of life or their appearance is certainly something that is completely unnecessary and immature, is marijuana-shaming really a thing?
A high school student from Ohio, Hank Sigel, accused the administration of marijuana-shaming when his friend, Hayden Long, commit suicide after being caught with marijuana by the school. According to Sigel, the school was negligent in their dealings with Hayden, and said that the threats by the school were overboard.
However, is this really shaming? I mean, isn’t shaming downplaying what is going on here? To shame someone means to demean or embarrass someone for a choice or appearance, but that isn’t what is going on here. The student was threatened with suspension, criminal charges, a driver’s license suspension, and sports suspension. Furthermore, most public universities won’t accept him, and he is immediately disqualified from most student loans.
This isn’t shaming. This isn’t just embarrassing or demeaning a person (which, yes, is still certainly wrong). This is physically and actively destroying their lives. This is treating a high school student as a gang member. This is treating a kid as an adult. This an active injustice on the part of our legal system, not some kind of social injustice done with unkind words or gestures.