By Tracey Eyster
You have got to be kidding me!
I just read about a couple of teen girls who did some pretty disgusting things at a sleepover party and then posted photos of it on MySpace. As a result the photos got handed around at school, their coaches saw them and the girls ended up being disciplined by the coaches based on the schools conduct policy and disciplinary guidelines.
The result? These two girls sued the school.
Parents of teens, if you have not already done so, I suggest you sit down immediately with your teenager and explain to them that if they are going to do inappropriate things and they get "caught" there is but one person to blame: themselves.
And then in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS let them know that in today's world 90 percent of EVERYTHING they do has the capacity to get caught "on film" and be in the eyes of the WORLD just moments later. Especially if they are naive enough to actually place it on the Internet themselves.
Is it awful that this happened to these girls? Yes. But who made the decision to do such a stupid thing? They did. Who should have taught them better and warned them about consequences? Their parents.
What they have now learned through this lawsuit is that if they do something really bad, they can find a way to sidestep responsibility in the issue by shifting blame to someone else.
My dad coached basketball for years and he did it to build character in his athletes. This was part of the system as a whole. The parents, teachers, coaches and schools all worked together to raise children to be good citizens. If any authority figure got in a child's face when they did something wrong, the parents appreciated it and welcomed it as they understood the goal was to raise children to have good moral character and to do what was "right" and "good" for themselves and ultimately their community.
It's not "if" your teen messes up and does something wrong, it's "when." So how will you handle it? Work with your teen to shirk responsibility and deny ownership of the mistake? Or point out to your teen the cold hard facts that all actions have consequences and bad actions have really bad consequences?
It seems today many parents turn on the very adults who are trying to help their children grow into responsible young adults. They blame shift, and they teach their children to blame shift. Bad call, parents.
Granted, all I know is what I read in this article. But I put my dad in the same shoes as that coach, and what I know is he would have done everything in his power to discipline that student so she would not do something so bad ever again. Would he have done this because he didn't care about her? No ... he would have done it because he cared about her life and her future.