The Pressure of Peers

In 2005, I wrote a play about teen issues for an educational theater program. OutSpoken continues to tour to high schools (and now middle schools) throughout Northern California, aiming to get students talking about diversity and difference without force-feeding "messages" or pat resolutions. (No ridiculous declarations like, "Peer pressure is bad!," like some organizations have tried to get me to do.)

While much of the student body got it and seemed to enjoy talking about the piece during the post-play discussion, I was told of an exchange that happened at an earlier performance between the play's director and a seventh grader, which I missed:

DIRECTOR: So what are some of the consequences of peer pressure?

STUDENT: You'll spend too much money on an eighth of 'shrooms.

...Maybe force-feeding messages should be reconsidered?


  1. Was he WRONG?
    Sounds like that IS one of the consequences of peer pressure, issues of diversity and difference aside, of course.

    I never do drugs . . . that I have to pay for.

  2. Does it really matter why a seventh grader says no to 'shrooms? Keep those allowances small, parents.

  3. I just need to point out that Prince can make as many excuses as he wants for being up in the Bay Area, but since I live down the street from the Orpheum Theatre, I know High School Musical, the national touring production, is in town. So, I don't buy any of this other artifice for being north.