Monday, 17 March 2008

Taking responsibilty

one of the problems that we have in this country is that people do not take resposibilty for their actions. The young have not been taught how to. Since we have given way to the idea that school children aren't being told when they fail, they have no idea when something is wrong. Everything is a level of being correct. Consequently they do not realise how to fail, and take the responsibilty for failing and violence is a failure.
An act of violence regardless of its cause in the 21st Century is wrong, but it seems to be growing. Acts of thoughtless violence through drink, drugs or even the pressure of life is often given as a reason. It's not, its an excuse. When I was young and I drank to excess, or even when I had one of the most stressful jobs going in publishing I didn't go out and hit someone, try to kill them, cut them up in my car or celebrated my obnoxiousness. I coped with it.
When I hear that some kids get into trouble because there is nothing to do, I just can't accept it. There is more for kids to do now than ever. When I was a kid, on Sunday's everything was closed, at some points during the day even the TV closed down. I didn't go out and cause trouble or vandalise anything.
When I see the kids who get into trouble at the age of 14, I think that my parents were both out working at that age. Both were learning their trade because it was impossible to keep them on at school because of the lack of money. They had to be responsible, to keep the job, to turn up on time to do a good and sometimes long days work.
I saw a programme about a woman who wanted to get everyone to stop using their cars for just one day. The answer from some of the parents was that they couldn't give up their cars in case it rained. I walked to school in the rain, the snow, the fog and believe it or not I didn't get a bad cold or seriously ill, I actually got used to bad weather, dressed accordingly and also got fit. These are the same parents who wont let their kids in a few years take responsibility. They will be the same parents who actually lie to their kids about their talents and then let them suffer a huge fall on talent shows. I actually like Simon Cowell and I would like to see more teachers take a page out of his book and be honest with the kids.
When I did teacher training I gave a boy a detention slip which had to be taken home to his parents for them to give permission for him to have detention. How ridiculous that was. When I was at school we had a detention that night straight after school. It was a punishment, instant and effective. The teachers took the responsibility for the punishment, not the parents and the kid took the responsibility for the crime.
We have become so intwined with political correctness that we now cant see the problems through the phrasiology. The idea that you can't mark a pice of work for a child in red in case it upsets them. Or as I heard recently you can't even mark the actual piece of work itself but supply a seperate piece of paper with the comments on, because otherwise it would be disrespectful to the student. Crap. It means they know its wrong and need to get it right next time. Learning to fail, which is something we all do, is a valuable lesson.
On that note I don't completely blame the kids, but I do blame the parents and actually I blame the governments as well. They lie, manipulate the statistics,give reasions that are only half truths and the deny they have done it, so where is the hope for the young when the people running the country can't take responsibility for their actions.
We live in a world where violence is celebrated, through films, sport, television especially reality tv and on the football pitch particularly, and then we say to the kids that violence is wrong. For some of the kids who see and take this kind of culture in, it is their only way of getting what they think is respect but is in fact derision. These are the future unless something is done. The idea that teachers and parents should be afraid of physical attacks from children is appalling. The parents should take responsibility for their children and the local councils should have to take control of those parents who think that its always up to someone else. Those kids that are sent to jail should meet the victims families and explain why they did it. Their parents should have to attend parenting classes to try an understand where they went wrong. Those that don't attend get arrested and are made to do community work. Not helping in a shop but maybe driving around a victim of violence for a week, getting their shopping, cleaning their house, or maybe being a bodyguard to some elderly resident who is afraid of being attacked. They created the problem now they must start cleaning it up.

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