Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Wheels of our bus are falling off, falling off...

I don't expect anyone to ever share these thoughts by reading this post. Most of my posts that someone takes the time to read result in responses that my friends politely, delicately remind me are difficult to follow. I'm loquacious, full of verbiage among other things, etc.
I actually, in this post, have no words to describe or process the now viral video of middle school (boys?) students verbally and physically assaulting a 68 year old retired school bus driver who can now only serve as a bus "monitor." This took place in the Rochester, NY, area and district. The elderly lady was all over the MSMedia morning shows, and the story was compelling enough to then go and watch the video. Over ten minutes in duration, I could only make it to just passed three minutes in. I've never seen anything so disturbing in my life, and I've seen some stuff.
I'm not going to rant here, the fact that this episode, likely recorded purposefully by one of the miscreant youths who eventually passed it to FACEBOOK (Beelzabub smiles anytime that term is uttered!) and eventually to YouTube.
There is outrage aplenty everywhere: Matt Lauer wishing he could publicly announce the names of every kid on the bus, comboxes full of recriminations, and then there are the expected post-game analysis rants of others piggybacking onto YouTube.
What I've noticed in these reactions is, to my ears and eyes and, most discouraging, to my heart, is that all of these critical rants and judgments have one thing in common. The people decrying the kids utter the F bomb every third word while wanting the kids executed, strangled, brought to justice.
This is system failure and cultural meltdown. I'm not donning my Chicken Little hat, but the video should, at the least, be used in a national and formal legislative debate on the merits of the public school systems as they've evolved since the sixties. If nothing else, it undeniably should put a stake through the bloodless heart of the "Character Counts" faux-Life Lessons towards good citizenship poppycock.
Google and watch the video. Watch some reactions and how the MSmedia picks and plays for how many days this story can survive in the "something newer and even more revolting" news cycles.
And if anyone needs to cry out "Who is to blame for this scandal?", I first would advise them to look into a mirror. And then I'd advise them to pick up a Bible and re-read Genesis.
Parents out there: I still teach PK-8th in a Catholic parochial school. I can't count the times this expression is uttered by even PreK level kids: "What the...." and they deliberately don't finish the exclamation. Believe me, they're not saying "What the heck....What in Sam Hill....What in God's name....or any more quaint colloquial expression." They're going to the edge at six years old repeating the WTF culture that isn't limited to the street, the home, the playground, it's everywhere and not bound only to this one, tidy acronym either. And no one, no one have I seen ever correct or admonish them because it's too much bother (even in a Christian environment?!?) and they are very savvy about where the cliff's edge is and will manipulate and contort what they do and say to deflect any possible sanctions on their precious little heads. And Lord help the teacher, administrator or staff person who has to defend any such intervention to the satisfaction of "Little Precious'" parents or guardians.
GOD HAS TO BE PART OF THE EQUATION when raising children to perpetuate a civil society.
Period. I pray that it may someday be so in our homes, our schools and ironically, sometimes, in our churches. Amen.