Elementary and high schools across North America periodically invite notable figures to talk to or perform for the kids, whether those figures are known for their professional achievements, overcoming addictions, or otherwise having stories to tell. A free hour or two off regular class time might not seem like a treat, however, if the school invited people who were known for the wrong things. Here are the top 10 famous people who should never visit a school.
List of Top 10 Famous People Who Should Never Visit a School in 2017
10. Angelina Jolie
Since the wild years of her youth, Angelina Jolie has not only starred in countless films, she has also mellowed into a famed humanitarian and loving mother of six children. The reason she is on this list is her ongoing clashes with Brad Pitt over custody, discipline, and all things child-related. According to the Daily Mail, the courts ruled in December 2016 that Jolie has “compromised the children’s privacy” during the proceedings. At the same time, the publication cites a psychologist who recommends against exposing children to the stress of divorce battles. While past-Jolie’s drug problems and other serious issues would have made her a bad candidate for a visit to the schools, present-Jolie simply has too much on her plate right now to deal with other people’s children.
9. Gwyneth Paltrow
Besides her appearances in excellent films such as The Talented Mr. Ripley and The Royal Tenenbaums, Gwyneth Paltrow is best known these days as Pepper Potts in the Avenger universe. Unfortunately, outside of the film industry, she has been receiving negative press attention for pseudo science and questionable endorsements. In 2013, Macleans reported that Paltrow’s new cookbook contains numerous unscientific claims and recommendations that may be harmful to her readers’ health, as well as her own. According to Paltrow, everyone should avoid “meat, potatoes, dairy, eggs, coffee, alcohol, wheat, bell peppers, corn, and eggplant,” despite the scientifically proven health benefits of all these foods, if eaten in appropriate amounts. Paltrow also makes dubious recommendations on her website, Goop, for scientifically debunked “treatments” like vaginal steaming and detox cleanses. If allowed to visit a school, Paltrow might very well impede progress in science class and confiscate everything that tastes good in the cafeteria and vending machines.
8. Louis C.K.
Comedian Louis C.K. does not believe in pseudo science, and this comes through in his cynical yet intelligent writing. In fact, his remarks on humankind and the food chain even received a mention on NPR from an astrophysics professor at the University of Rochester. In the past 10 years, he has risen to stardom with his own TV shows and his collaborations with other famous comedians: Ricky Gervais, David Letterman, and Jerry Seinfeld, among others. While he is also a loving father of two daughters, Louis C.K. is not shy to make hilarious, highly offensive jokes about parenting, children, and everything else. The idea of making his crude, expletive-laden humor appropriate for school settings is almost laughable. At the same time, Louis C.K. talks so often about children, even his own, being boring, dirty, and difficult that he probably wouldn’t want to visit a school to begin with.
7. Kim Kardashian
Another famously beautiful woman is Kim Kardashian, who gained notoriety after her sex tape was publicized in 2007. Unlike Paltrow, Kardashian is not known for a skill like acting, or doing or creating anything, but simply for having a pleasing figure, according to ABC News. In a culture in which fame is considered a worthy goal in itself, she has since become a role model for many teenagers and even grown women. In school, however, where teenagers are supposed to learn how to lead a meaningful existence, Kardashian would become more of a reverse role model. She might also have trouble explaining to students how she became famous or what she does for a living. She is one amongst the Top 10 Famous People 2017 Who Should Never Visit a School.
6. Jaden Smith
Movie star Will Smith’s son may one day become a movie star in his own right, but in the meantime, at least he is good friends with famous rapper Kanye West. As a child, Jaden Smith acted in The Pursuit of Happyness with his dad and in The Day the Earth Stood Still with Keanu Reeves before starring in The Karate Kid himself. In 2013, Smith posted a series of anti-school, anti-education tweets on Twitter, which were then reposted by Huffington Post. According to Salon, this bizarre behavior was and others. In 2015, Fusion reported that, in an interview, Smith claimed all his weirdest tweets and actions were simply “social experiments” — certainly an excuse countless embarrassed teenagers have used at least once in their online lives. Smith then mentioned he was studying ancient mysteries with his sister and planning to disappear in 10 years. Assuming the 18-year-old actor is no longer in school and has not yet vanished, Smith’s belief that schools are evil and that secret societies hold true knowledge makes him a poor choice for school visits.
5. Dr Seuss
Dr Seuss is beloved author of children’s classics like The Cat in the Hat, which is often one of the first books children read in English-speaking households. He was, however, “not particularly fond of spending time with [children],” being “slightly afraid of them,” according to the BBC. Or, to put it in his own words, “in mass, they terrify me.” Although he passed away in 1991, future generations will continue to read Dr Seuss… and imagine that he loved kids. Still, the man deserves an honorary spot on this list, because he would have hated every moment of being at a school, surrounded by children. No wonder PBS notes that he hardly made public appearances during his lifetime, in spite of his fame.
4. Charles Manson
Spurred by extremist ideas about racial tensions, among other reasons, struggling musician Charles Manson ordered the brutal murder of Polanski’s second wife, then a well-known actress, during his murder spree in 1969. Now in his eighties, Manson is so famous that even some of the people he has inspired — e.g. Marilyn Manson, arguably a better musician — are famous. NPR describes Charles Manson as a charismatic man skilled at influencing others, such as the members in his murder cult. Sure, Manson seems to be a sociable guy — in 2012, he made the news for writing bizarre “fan mail” to Marilyn Manson, and as of 2015, there is at least one special young lady out there who dreams of marrying the convict — but it is probably a good idea to keep him away from impressionable young minds. If the New York Post is correct, the woman plans to marry Manson in order to turn his corpse into a tourist attraction. Organize a school field trip instead!
3. Roman Polanski
French-Polish director Roman Polanski, born Rajmund Roman Thierry Polanski, was big in Hollywood: he had won numerous awards including a handful of Oscars, made such famous movies as Rosemary’s Baby and The Pianist, and begun to receive international recognition for his work. Then, in 1977, he was arrested for the rape of a 13-year-old girl, pleaded guilty, and then fled the United States before the ruling. Incidentally, Polanski was dating a 15-year-old girl in 1976, according to People Magazine. Although many other “famous people” spoke for him publicly, Polanski has been on the run from the US government and Interpol since then. In 2009, Polanski was arrested on US orders, but released by the Swiss government, reports CNN. In May 2016, the government of Poland requested to appeal the extradition court ruling, according to The Guardian. If successful, Polanski would have been returned to the US for his crime. Regardless of his decades of film making and acting experience, think twice before inviting Polanski to a school: even if he could be trusted around the female students, the US government would likely arrest him before he finished his presentation.
2. Donald Trump
Donald Trump has also been dealing with legal troubles for years. Most recently, in November 2016, Trump settled the lawsuits against Trump University for defrauding students, reports The Guardian. The British publication also refers to the institution as “his phony university.” According to Business Insider, Trump proposes to cut public school funding and believes that community colleges are already “affordable for all.” Let’s face it: regardless of political stances, Donald Trump should not be invited to visit a school. The current president-elect is already such a polarizing figure in the United States, his presence would no doubt cause fights to break out on schools grounds. Besides, governing an entire country is expected to take up a good chunk of his free time.
1. Kim Jong-un
As far as world leaders go, Kim Jong-un is as instantly recognizable as his father, Kim Jong-il, the previous supreme leader of North Korea. They maintain a tight hold on the closed country, teaching — some might say “brainwashing” — its citizens from the kindergarten years about the godlike abilities of the two Kims, according to Washington Post. School materials are heavily Kim-themed and include anti-US, anti-South Korean messages. In addition to not exactly being an advocate for education and knowledge, if the young leader were to be invited to an American school, he will be offended by what the textbooks say about his regime. The consequences could be disastrous.
Although not everyone would agree the above 10 famous people 2017 who should never be visit a school, at least we can acknowledge that many of them would make controversial guests. For the sake of the children, consider leaving these famous people off the guest list for your next school event.