Fiction Friday: The Classroom

Fiction Friday is back!


The classroom was noisy, chaotic. Students roamed freely or leaned lazily against walls. Some were shouting and yelling.

Everything was under control.

Nadia sat in the corner watching her class. Hardly saying a word.

“When you look at the historical use of government surveillance, there’s no clear correlation showing their use leading to a drop in crime,” one student said, adding citations of several studies in his favor.

“But this isn’t really an issue of trying to prevent future crimes,” another student chimed in, “It’s about trying to catch someone who has already committed a crime. When something like this happens, there should be documentation, a lead, something to go on.”

“But nothing like this has happened in years,” another student added. “Is it really worth recording us all the time, just for us the rare instance that we need it? What about our privacy?”

“I’d give that up for safety,” another student injected.

“No one’s really watching the video most of the time, so I think maybe it’s okay?” Added another.

“I don’t know…it seems like a drastic reaction,” another student spoke up. “I mean, this is important and all, finding this person, but…privacy is important, too. I don’t know that I want the government to have the power to watch me all the time. I mean, I don’t really do anything interesting, but…I dunno, it just feels wrong.”

The students paused for a moment, pondering all these options. The pros and cons. The tradeoffs and considerations. The bustling energy of the room died to a light hum as students screwed up their faces and shook their heads, trying to work out their own thoughts on the matter.

Nadia had her eye on the one student who hadn’t spoken up yet.

Most of the kids had been actively engaged in the conversation. Speaking out with their ideas, their research, their questions. But some people are just naturally quieter. Some people take more time to formulate their thoughts, or have a harder time jumping in two rowdy, engaged conversations.

It was no problem, but she wanted to make sure everyone had a chance to engage. She wondered if she should say something.

“This is a lot to think about,” one of the active students spoke up. “But I’m not sure what’s best. What do you think?” She asked, turning to the student who’d been silent.

Nadia smiled.

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