This article (which I've linked), the writer, his friends, and the whole immersion program in Xavier School has been ridiculed by so many people, from anonymous posters to the likes of Carlos P. Celdran and some of his friends.
I think that that is the wrong way of going about things. Why?
1) These are children. Worse, they are the children of parents who may be overprotective (and I am conservative in that statement). If you will introduce a measure of social awareness within a school like Xavier, you must balance the attitudes of the parents themselves, versus the need to be socially aware. It's a tightrope act, and it's a situation where "working the system" is very important to get *any* action done.
2) By ridiculing their efforts, naysayers may even perpetuate the very social structure they are fighting against. Why? if these teenagers realize how people are looking down on them, then it sends a negative signal. What if they decide that social awareness is useless, because no one will believe them, anyway? well, then, congratulations, you've just turned these children into the next generation of uncaring businessmen you were trying to remove from the system. Bravo, gentlemen.
3) It doesn't reflect well on the people who attack *children*. Just think about it. I can understand talking to them, perhaps even asking them nicely to try and go further in their immersion activities, I can even understand if some people will offer them the chance of *really* living a life, however temporarily, devoid of all the luxuries they surround themselves with.
But to tell them they will never know what it feels like to be poor, so stop being fake? See possible reaction in #2.
I am deeply ashamed that people near my age and older are acting like bullies, refusing to help educate the younger generation. There's an opportunity here, and it's being wasted by class-war attitudes that have no place in true education.
To all of you who thought the writer and his friends are stupid rich kids: I am sad that you have closed your minds to the possibility of change.
To the "upper class" kids whose minds are becoming aware that there is a much bigger world out there: Keep on exploring, and keep on thinking. And forgive old fogeys who think you aren't good enough, because they see you as stupid rich kids. What you have to do is make sure that you don't grow up to be like that, and to always strive to be better.