There’s a lot more to manners than simply saying please and thank you and it’s never been more evident than in recent weeks that it’s time for parents to step in and do a better job of instilling manners in their children.
Reports of name calling, hair pulling, making fun of kids for their language, their race, their disabilities, public displays of passion and foul language happening on school buses anywhere should not be the primary concern of teachers and school districts. They should be the primary concern of parents. Who, after all, is tasked with raising these unruly children?
The loss of simple manners has been a gradual thing over decades. Now, school districts are stretched thin, so much so that there is no money to provide increased supervision of children who should know better than to put each other at risk by being so disruptive. If things continue to go the way they are, money will need to be set aside for paid bus monitors, and that means less for other worthy pursuits.
First, USD 428 has been made the cautionary tale for school districts everywhere in this state following allegations from parents of a few students of out of control behavior on buses. Now, parents are coming forward and making complaints about USD 431.
Bullying is bad manners in the extreme. Ever since the Columbine High School tragedy of the late 1990s, schools have been working to address bullying, yet still, there is a prevailing attitude that bullying is just a part of life. If we continue to have that attitude, we will see more reports of deplorable behavior, and school will become more about institutionalization and less about education.
We can’t simply throw our hands in the air and give up, or point fingers and teachers, coaches and administrators. Please, let’s take a good hard look at the lessons we are teaching our children through our own actions every day. We need to elevate our standards, not simply accept the world as it is.