Wednesday, May 13, 2009

War in high schools?

"It's like we're sending our babies out to war every day and I guess my baby was trying to be a soldier but he did it in the wrong way," said the suspect's mother, Kisha Wright.
This is a naked look into the root of the problem of teenagers wanting to kill other teenagers. It's not that guns are easy to get, or that they don't have enough supervision, or that there is not enough laws or security to prevent these kinds of things - he was screened by metal detectors and had his bag taken away beforehand - but a deeper problem that starts with our youth being fed the idea that they are not responsible for what goes on in their lives.

And the blame for that problem can ultimately be placed squarely on the shoulders of the parents.

Wright claims her son was bullied at other schools and felt intimidated at S.O.A.R. -- where every student has a record of trouble.

"I think he just wanted to make the situation stop so he can get away and be left alone," said Wright. "He's not a bad child, he's just kind of lost."

It's not his fault!! He's a good kid!! He's the victim!!! Hell, they're all victims!!!!

Actually, he's not a kid. One does not magically become an adult mentally on their 18th birthday; this guy knew exactly what he was doing.

When the parent sends their son or daughter out into the world every day with the notion that others are to blame for their problems; that they are a victim; and that they are "soldiers" in a "war," then this is the exact kind of product that they can expect.

"Daddy walked out on us," "The Man is keeping you down," "it's the evil rich people making life hard;" these are all just excuses.
And I blamed the kids until I heard the mother talk. And then I heard the father talk. . . . - Bill Cosby
Parents enable this behaviour by raising militant victims.

Life is rarely fair, there will always be people who will take advantage of others, and as my father would often tell me: "you're not the only pebble on the beach!" What he was telling me was that many of the folks before me or around me have made more of themselves, with much less, and through more difficult times than I could possible imagine, and that I should quit complaining and press on.

I had little to argue with him; he was the perfect example.

I can remember, many years ago, when my father took a fall off the roof of a church that he was working on and broke his back, his knee, and both of his ankles. He was supposed to be bed ridden for half a year, but since no one was braying on our door offering to pay our bills, he had to cut that time short. I can vividly remember him wincing in unimaginable pain as he got to his feet at 0530 one morning, not six weeks after the accident, and duct taping a National Geographic magazine to his back and chest in order to keep himself upright while he went out to find work.

Life was not smiling down on him that day, but he pressed on without ever noticing the profound impact that that act made on his young son that morning. When things in my life start to suck, the image of him getting back up immediately pops back into my mind, and I know that life ain't always fair.

I hope that I make such an example to my children, just not that painful. And you can bet that I'm not going to teach them to be perpetual victims in a apathetic society that rewards stupid parents who raise stupid kids, and blame life's bumps and bruises on everyone else.

I'll teach them to quit complaining and press on. I can only hope that other parents do the same.
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