Our recent columns on why kids…and adults…behave badly has obviously touched a nerve, as evidenced by letters received since we published on the second week of September.
As always, we appreciate hearing from our readers, and especially those who express the point that there is simply no outlet anymore for support of traditional, and majority opinion.
To wit, we will share some views received since our last Reader Speaks column from individuals with obvious passion regarding those values, and whose responsibility it is to teach them. In the words of one, “If we kick the can down the road long enough we’ll eventually run out of road.”
Our thanks to those who took the time, and enjoy!
“I’ve have been a reader of Press Pros since I discovered it last year during the state football finals. I enjoy the writing and the photos, but I am most impressed by your willingness to say things that others won’t write. In particular, I couldn’t believe it when I read your September 13 article on bad behavior. You wrote, “[The commissioner of the OHSAA] knows the state, he knows the people, and he knows the score of society leaning towards kinder, gentler, and don’t offend anyone. (Jerry) Snodgrass knows that governing bodies are toothless to rehabilitate in a day when schools are so worried about funding – passing the next levy. You can’t come down hard because you can’t afford bad public relations in politics. and education is not that much different now than politics.” Thanks for telling the truth when others avoid the obvious fact that votes in many communities are more significant than matters of character. If you humiliate a voter by throwing him out of a basketball game that person not only votes ‘no’, but influences others to do the same. In that respect it is like politics. You can’t beg people to be better, as you wrote, because people will ignore the line in the sand and the kids notice and copycat. Well said, and well done. And I’ve shared your writing with dozens of friends.” … Ken Marko
“The issue, as you stated, is a lack of adult responsibility, starting with being a parent in the home. But just as bad are parents who try to be a friend to their children instead of a parent. You can’t be their friend and establish a correct standard for behavior. Better to be respected, than liked.” … Carol Reardon
“I’m a little late to the game here but your article, ‘Toothless In A Day Of Helplessness’ hit on a point I think many are and have been afraid to confront – the vote. So often, administrators do not wish to anger parents and fans because, as one simply put it to me, “Well they vote, and they will vote no, and their friends will vote no too just to prove a point.” No one understands the long-term ramifications of a failed levy in the heat of an athletic contest, but it doesn’t just apply to sporting events. It’s even with respect to student discipline, academic issues, and more. I witnessed it firsthand in my career as a teacher and coach. And now, as a parent no longer in that career, I see it from the stands as I watch my own play.” … Chris Prokes
“Consequences, consequences, consequences. Unfortunately, what happened in the Dunbar football game is a black eye not only to the school and the City League, but the city of Dayton. Because, it is the Dayton City League. I haven’t heard of one city official that’s taken responsibility for the actions of its school system.” … Cristopher Smith
“My father used to say that if you kick the can down the road long enough you’ve eventually run out of road. We’re fast approaching that point regarding acceptable dress, speech, and behavior in public. Profanity has become a virtue of free speech, instead of it being what it is.” … Dan Flynn
“I’m a Marion Local graduate, and my children go to Buckeye Valley Schools, in Delaware, Ohio. At a home football game this past week we played Mount Vernon, and the Mount Vernon quarterback was called for unsportsmanlike conduct late in the first quarter, and rightfully so. The head coach benched him for the rest of the first half. I was reading your article this week on fan involvement with the games and wanted to add this story. I highly respect the head coach for making that call, setting the example, and hope that fans would follow the lead of the leaders [head coach] more often.” … Phil Bertke
“You have no experience with the subject of people and kids at risk. Stick to your perfect world at Press Pros.” … Syl
(Ed. Note: In that the case, I’ll wait until there’s no officials willing to work football games. Then we’ll address it.)