Thursday, May 18, 2017

Teach Your Children Well

Being a former educator, I just have to get this blog out of my system after watching one more example of "Parents Behaving Badly." So many times the general public asks what is going on in the schools to make these children behave so badly? That is when I want to stop them right there in their tracks and show them specifically what the problem is. It would be the parents, nine times out of ten (if I were a betting person).

The example that I am going to write about is just one of so many that happen everywhere across the world. It could have happened anywhere. News stations love to get hold of the clips from across the globe on incidents such as the one that I am writing about today. This one made the national news. Nothing to be proud of here in Memphis, Tennessee or for the suburban school district who held the graduation. 

Due to the fact that I was not an eye witness to this event, I am writing based on what was reported by several news stations, as well as the local newspaper, and what I saw on the media video clip. Just wanted to get my sources clear with my readers. By the way, there were no discrepancies with any of these sources. 

There was a beautiful graduation ceremony planned for one of large suburban high schools of Memphis on Tuesday night. Due to the large numbers of relatives that wish to attend such an important event in the lives of the children, these graduations take place at venues that can accommodate the large number of people attending and the parking. This venue just happened to be at one of the largest churches in the area. 

Pomp and Circumstance began playing as the graduates were about to march in. However, two women began arguing over a saved seat. There were several men seated between these women, yet the two got through them and started fist fighting, hair pulling, and tossing water at each other, as well as causing a huge commotion. Security immediately got them out of the sanctuary and into the lobby, and even had to handcuff one of them as they continued to yell obscenities at each other. 

It was reported that one of the family members recorded this on their cell phone. It was put up on the social media for all to see. One could observe the actual fight,as well as the aftermath with one of the agitated women on the floor of the lobby totally out of control. The security officers continued to tell the women to get control of themselves and he even told them to just shut up. 

The graduation went on without them. This graduation class earned over thirty million dollars in scholarships. What a way to show appreciation for such accomplishments! I feel sure that at the time, most graduates did not know what was going on, thank goodness. However, with word of mouth, the social media and the news sources, they found out quickly enough. 

What a sad incident! And to think it was not the children, but adults who made poor choices at an event that was to celebrate their children's graduation. I ask if this is how you would want to be remembered in your child's memory bank? Being that their children are already 18, it is possible that it may be too late if this is the kind of behavior that they have become accustomed to seeing.

As a former teacher and administrator, I can tell you that being in elementary schools, it was so much easier to accept and help children who made poor choices than to meet with the parents of some who still believed that it was their right to behave in such irrational and violent ways. I can't tell you how many times that I conferenced with parents over their child fighting and the question asked of me was, "Well, who started the fight? I have always told my child if someone punches you then you have the right to punch them back." My reply would always be the same. Now, based on district policy, I have to issue two suspensions, not one. 

If you are alone, such as in a dark alley, then you need to take care of yourself. In an elementary school such as the one where we are, there are adults everywhere who can help. You must learn to walk away and be the bigger person. I must tell you that it was like talking to a brick wall. They thought that was like teaching their child to be teased and called a chicken. Even though I continued to try to reason with the adult, many I just did not get through to, while others would listen or pretended to listen to reason. Sometimes, you just can't fix the broken down mentality that has gone through generations back to the wild wild west. 

It is so important to walk the walk and talk the talk of being a good human being for our children. Many times children can be saved from such disastrous parenting if they are exposed to enough adults who do the walk and the talk in a positive manner. According to W.E.B. DuBois, "Children learn more from what you are than from what you teach." Show them the way and Teach Your Children Well!  Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young sang it very well. There really is a code to live by and we can learn from each other.

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