Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Thursdays on the Bench

(Cathy) So, let's talk about the word harassment and what it means in today's society. Have we given our children too much power so that we as parents have our hands tied? Do children today have the same healthy fear we did as kids? What about respect? Respect for themselves and others. What happened to addressing adults by Mr. and Mrs.? Is this way better and safer for our kids? What happened to create this situation? Protection, does the word protection go hand in hand with harassment? I know a lot of questions, however, this is a big subject.

(Sunshine) This is such a big controversial subject. As it is with most things in the world there will always be those who take advantage of laws and bend situations to suit their own needs. However, we can only hope that these laws also protect the innocent and are effective for the most part. Miss Teen Sunshine and I were talking about this very subject as it came up at my work place between two students the other day. The boy, in this case used inappropriate language and was accused by the girl of "feeling her up". This heated discussion occurred very hap hazard as they were ordering lunch in front of everyone. She was seemingly upset at first and then laughing and he was laughing the entire time and he commented on how he would not "feel someone up like her because she had too much junk in her trunk". It certainly stopped me in my tracks and I don't really think that anything was done about it. I brought it to the attention of my supervisor she voiced it to a few of the teachers and they shook their heads and I don't really know what happened after that.

Miss Teen Sunshine commented on how in the hall ways at school boys will slap a random girl on the butt and just keep walking. Then she said that in gym class when they are running laps with the older boys, they will randomly touch a girl's butt as they run by. Is this true? Is this what our society has come to. I really hope not. I almost don't want to believe her because it really bothers me to know that this is what it is like. I asked her if it has ever happened to her and she said no. She did say that for most girls it's no big deal as it happens all the time and they just laugh. I asked her how she would feel if it happened to her and what she would do. She said that she would push them away as she did not give them permission. I asked what she would do if it were to continue and her answer was that her physical response would increase from pushing to punching to rendering someone unconscious but she still did not seem to think that there would be any need to let someone of authority know. She felt that it was not something that warranted getting them involved as she could deal with it on her own. Oh Boy, what a mess!!!!!!!

Is the level of respect for their elders any less then when we were kids? Everyone seems to think so but I am not really sure. At my work I see kids who are always consistently very respectful and I see those that don't know or care about being respectful to anyone. The kids who stand out as the disrespectful ones seem to be the ones who have a lot of issues at home. And then there is the third group of kids who are good kids but they have not been taught how to act towards adults. They don't know how to wait for their turn and say please and thank you. But, once you teach them, they catch on really quickly.

Is there less respect for themselves or is it just that they are more comfortable with their bodies and more open? It's tough to watch such young teens making out on the bench outside the cafeteria. They don't care who is watching and who is walking by and when they are asked to stop, they laugh and slowly go back to class. These benches sit right outside of the main office so there is a lot of traffic and a lot of teachers walking by all of the time. It's different because our generation was more reserved than that, but then our parents would say that we are all more open than they ever were. Is it simply evolution? or Is is a disrespect for themselves and for others? I really don't know. Maybe we need to stop judging and keep educating. With this generation, everything is in the open and there are resources if they need help. They have all talked about everything so there is no need to hide in the shadows if something has happened. You can discuss and get help. Inappropriate things have always occurred in history but today they have a bigger voice then ever. Maybe we have taken the fear away from the innocent and put it back onto the perpetrators where is should be. The results that are capable of being yielded are positive if you ask me.

The difficulties occur when someone is wrongfully accused. I don't really know what to say about that. It has been experienced in all fields, doctor, teachers, care givers, and everything else under the sun. That is why so many meetings and even examinations all take place with a second party present to avoid such accusations. Maybe that is going to be more along the lines of what has to happen in the future. How do we determine the truthful ones from those who are telling a lie just to get someone else in trouble? Then, how do we deal with those who really believe that something inappropriate has occurred and it really hasn't. It can be a nightmare to have to deal with being wrongfully accused and having to prove your innocence. How do we stop that kind of thing from happening? Your guess is as good as mine. It would be wonderful to find a happy medium. I am going to stop now and give someone else a chance to write.

Wow, Sunshine sure has a lot to say on the subject. (Carolin) Here is my two cents. People are just stupid! We get ourselves all worked up over stuff that in the grand scheme of things really doesn't matter. I am tired and have had enough of stupid people and their self absorbed attitudes.

I'm wondering if the consequences for the accused are still too light. It could be that people will make a 'wrong' choice knowing that nothing too bad will happen to them. Victim be dammed! Maybe it's time to rework the justice system. Oh wait, I think I've heard this said before....From experience there is NO CONSEQUENCES for the accuser. They can even hide behind anonymity if they choose.

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