December 02, 2008
In the past year, 30 percent of U.S. high school students have stolen from a store and 64 percent have cheated on a test, according to a new, large-scale survey suggesting that Americans are too apathetic about ethical standards.
Let the record show that I have never shoplifted or cheated on a test.
Educators reacting to the findings questioned any suggestion that today's young people are less honest than previous generations, but several agreed that intensified pressures are prompting many students to cut corners.
"The competition is greater, the pressures on kids have increased dramatically," said Mel Riddle of the National Association of Secondary School Principals. "They have opportunities their predecessors didn't have (to cheat). The temptation is greater."
Even back in my day, we had graphing calculators that stored information in them. I don't remember any of my friends using that storage to cheat. But regardless, this person is gonna argue that greater competition and opportunity is an excuse for cheating?
Despite such responses, 93 percent of the students said they were satisfied with their personal ethics and character, and 77 percent affirmed that "when it comes to doing what is right, I am better than most people I know."
Sick. That's the result of parents and their unconditional love and praise. Heaven forbid you hurt little Johnny's self-esteem by telling him he needs to "live and act within the limit of your knowledge and keep expanding it to the limit of your life."
"A lot of people like to blame society's problems on young people, without recognizing that young people aren't making the decisions about what's happening in society," said Dzurinko, 32. "They're very easy to scapegoat."
FAIL. Young people will be making those decisions in ten years, and they have a foundation of cheating and stealing to build on. They're not scapegoats if they admit their immoral behavior. We are totally boned when they become businessmen, educators, and politicians.
"This generation is leading incredibly busy lives -- involved in athletics, clubs, so many with part-time jobs, and -- for seniors -- an incredibly demanding and anxiety-producing college search," he offered as an explanation.
FAIL. Getting into college is stressful, so I'm gonna go out and shoplift, you know, to take the edge off.
I find it incredible that all these principals and administrators are making excuses for these results. Actually, no, I don't find it incredible: I think it's the reason they came up with these results. Adults coddle kids entirely too much these days. They want kids to like them. You know what my philosophy is? Your teenager should hate you...until he's about 25. Then he should start to grok everything you did for him. I am still realizing all the lessons my parents taught me, and I try to inform them when I have finally understood why they did the things they did. And I'm glad they didn't try to "be my friend" when I was in high school. Shoot, my mother doesn't even try to be my friend today; she still lets me know when she thinks I have acted wrong.
"We have to create situations where it's easy for kids to do the right things," he added. "We need to create classrooms where learning takes on more importance than having the right answer."
Weeping Jesus on the cross: FAIL.
There is nothing more important in school than having the right answer. I can't think of any other response to that last quote that doesn't involve cuss words. And you don't create situations for people to do the right thing; you teach young people the right thing to do and then expect them to do it, even when it's hard. That's what morals and values are for!
I don't have any kids yet, much less teenagers. But I have thought about it constantly for the past two years, and I have closely observed the parents around me, looking for what works and what doesn't. And you know how I said I love my husband with my brain instead of my heart? I will love my children the same way. I don't believe in unconditional live; I believe love is earned through thoughts and actions. And I vow that I will never watch my child become a shoplifter and a cheat and then make the kinds of excuses found in this article.
I have a friend who recently said, "Normally when a childless person talks about what she'll do when she has kids, I roll my eyes and think 'just you wait.' But with you, I actually think you will do all these things you say you'll do."
I considered that an enormous compliment.
Posted by: Amritas at December 02, 2008 08:57 AM (+nV09)
Posted by: kannie at December 02, 2008 01:50 PM (iT8dn)
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