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What was "The C Word in the Hallways," by Anna Quindlen, about?

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kendellm24 | Student, College Freshman | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 9, 2011 at 3:12 AM via web

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What was "The C Word in the Hallways," by Anna Quindlen, about?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted November 9, 2011 at 3:26 AM (Answer #1)

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This is an essay about the need for more attention to kids' mental health in the United States.  It talks about how many teens (and younger) are doing horrible things like school shootings because (in the author's opinion) they are mentally ill.

Qunidlen argues in this essay that the US would be a better place if more children were diagnosed as needing psychological or psychiatric care.  She says that we are too inclined to think that problems like the ones these kids have are character flaws rather than true illnesses.  Because of that, we tend to treat the kids as if they need to just get their acts together and reform themselves instead of getting them the treatment they need.

Because we have this blind spot, we end up sacrificing lives (those killed by mentally ill teens and the the teens themselves) and money (incarcerating teens who have killed) for no good reason.

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