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September 14, 2006

Disturbing teen behavior

The As I See It (9/9) observations of Deborah Solomon regarding the absence of values from public school teaching are, indeed, sobering and distressing. She suggests vouchers to allow parents to choose private, religious or charter schools for their children so that students can openly be taught strong academic, religious and moral training. May I suggest an even more appropriate way this can be accomplished? Begin at home. I find that many children lack even the basic “please” and “thank you.” Ask for it, and they give you a questionable look of “What are you talking about?”

Recently I attended a high school football game to enjoy my granddaughter’s marching band participation. I was appalled at what I observed: inappropriate dress, and in some instances, the lack of dress, as well as the unabashed touching between the population of both sexes to the extent that I overheard a policeman at a concessions stand ask a couple to take their activity elsewhere.

My question: Did the fathers and mothers see their daughters leave the house that night? Did they know who they were meeting and where they might be going? Come on! Schools cannot do the job of the parents, but together the schools and the parents can correct and stop these unacceptable behaviors. Teach the values at home, see to it that they are heeded wherever they go, and launch a hue and cry to all educators to stop encouraging this nonsense and madness in our schools.

Claire A. Kuddes



"But I also hear mothers talking about how hard it is to find age appropriate clothing for their daughters."

I find that very easy to believe... my wife preffers the styles of the juniors section to the "old lady" misses section - but has a hard time finding something that doesn't show too much skin. I can't imagine the nightmare of shopping with a fashion-conscious daughter.


JJ, my daughter, who just graduated from college, even says that she can’t believe the way kids dress “these days”. But I also hear mothers talking about how hard it is to find age appropriate clothing for their daughters.

A friend has a high-school age son who I hadn’t seen for a couple of years. I almost didn’t recognize him at first because he was dressed all in black and had a strange new haircut. But, after talking to him, I realized he was the same good kid he always was. And since then other friends have told me stories about him that confirm my opinion.

I still think the answer is staying involved in kids’ lives. Yes, raising children with good manners is the parents’ responsibility, but parents have always been reinforced by older people in the community. It amazes me that people like the letter writer stay away from groups of young people and then are shocked (shocked!) at the way young people behave.


Kate - excellent post once again.

Jack - You're right - "inappropriate dress" is nothing new. However the way girls are allowed to dress today as compared to when I was in school (and I'm much younger than you) would have been unacceptable by anyone's standards.


Good Lord, am I going to sound like this some day? Wait, wait, don’t tell me I sound like it now.

My question to you, Ms. Kuddes, is how long has it been since you’ve been to a high school football game? The longer you’ve been out of touch with young people, the easier it is to see them as a group rather than the individuals they are. And when you see people as a group, you start to notice only those who stand out on the fringe. There were probably twice as many polite, well-behaved kids there, who did nothing to attract your attention.

The answer is to find a way to stay in touch with young people, whether through a church or a community group. Get back in touch with them and you’ll find the good ones, and you'll find there's hope for the future.


Although I too am concerned about the loss of civility in our country, I must ask, "Is inappropriate dress and/or behavior something new amongst adolescents?"

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