Posts Tagged ‘high school’

Mortgaging our kids’ fiscal futures is a concern but a bigger issue should be the drive of the kids in the developing world (Latin America, Asia, Eastern Europe) compared to the average American teen if you read Thomas L. Friedman’s The World Is Flat.  While there are excepts, many teens in our community have the entitlement mentality that First Lady Michelle Obama and her mother refuse to allow the Obama girls to develop.  Our children have funky dispositions and I can’t stand them as far as I can throw them.  Can I throw them?

So, I am playing tennis with a former basketball coach at the high school yesterday and the football team is going through drills.  Evidently, the coaches worked with the younger players first, then took the underclassmen pass the tennis courts to the practice field.  For the next hour, I heard about a dozen players who appeared to be around ninth grade used the worst language in front of the gym as loudly as they could—s, a, mf, b, d, p and n-gger.  Not my business, don’t speak to other people’s children, my name is West, I am not in that mess.  Then I started to place the blame for this unacceptable behavior: the kids themselves, parents, lower grade teachers, church, family, DNA, lack of oxygen in the birth canal, was not whipped like we were.  Spare the rob…spare the rob.

While I was no angel at that age, I respected women, children and older people during public conversations.  We would change the language or say salty things quietly.  Since I can’t give up on the youth because they are my classmates’ kids or sometimes grandkids, I employed the glare technique to no avail.  For all the years I was respectful, I intend on enjoy the same reverence.  As coaches’ wives and children walked past them, the ugliness continued without pause.  I had enough after hearing part of the talk that would make a drunken sailor blush and said, “Fellows, would you please watch your language.”  The ringleaders laughed and I decided that I would be at their games in the fall so I can watch decent kids put them on their behinds every time the ball is snapped. 

In recent years, our high school sports teams have looked good on paper but lacked the character and focus to win state championships.  Champions are made between the ears and coaches can’t be blame if they start with youth without strong moral fiber and will.  I really don’t think I was upset at the kids as much as the parents who failed to prepare them for life—they are being raised by music videos.  It pains me to say that those kids had the mentality and social skills of fourth graders and the okay kids were being negatively influenced by the worst ones.  Here’s the fun part.  As the coach walked back to the gym, the loudmouths got nervous when thinking that we were going to rat them out.  Of course, I sung like a jaybird, which might have been a mistake because the little homies could be “connected.”  

I don’t have the answer but someone needs to figure something out soon because today’s kuckleheads or tomorrow’s inmates/fathers—talk about your vicious circle.  But, those coaches are well-intended professionals and you don’t measure an operation by who comes into the program; you notice the quality of the products who finish.  Of those loudmouths, only a few will be with the team in the fall.  Some folks can’t take discipline. 

In education, teachers who can’t reach the youth should admit failure and allow someone else the opportunity to get the job done because the consequences of failure are bigger threats to America’s future than the Taliban. 

While I won’t say it, some friends think the answer starts with encouraging less than bright people to refrain from populating the nation with idiots.  We have all been riding in a car and saw rough-looking teens courting and someone said, “let’s hope they don’t have a child because that gene pool is polluted.”  I can see it in their eyes; a disconnect from a functioning value system and the inability to determine appropriate social behavior.  What’s sad is that many will ended up in shackles like the ones we worked hard to throw off.  I can’t watch that happen. 

To end on a positive note, it feels good when a young adult stops me and say thanks for trying to talk some sense into his head during his teen years.  I say no problem, it is the least I can do since folks talked to me during my teen years and if you get really rich buy me a pontoon boat.

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