I don't know how old I was when I started reading Kurt Vonnegut, but I'll just say this: he made high school bearable.
I'm tired of seeing the pearl-clutchers win. I'm also tired of this weird attitude that parents from all areas of the spectrum seem to have regarding protecting their children from everything bad in the world. Kids need to have bad things happen to them like scraped knees or frustrating experiences with scooters so that when something actually bad happens, they can say, "Okay. I can deal with this and this is not the end of the world."
When I taught riding lessons regularly, I'd have cross parents when their kid fell off. I'd get an angry glare before their child was whisked off to soccer practice. And I'd think, "If falling off a horse is the worst thing that ever happens to your child, your child will be very, very lucky."
Then there were the parents who didn't think it was my fault or the horse's fault or even the child's fault - it was just something that happened. Guess which kids were more fun to teach and happier, more well-adjusted and functional human beings? Guess which kids got better at riding faster?
Update: The Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library is sending a free copy of Slaughterhouse-Five to those students in Republic, Missouri that wants one. http://www.vonnegutlibrary.org/ You can help by donating a little bit of money.