Saturday, January 19, 2019

US Teens At Their Worst

This is one of the more upsetting things I've seen in a while.

From other angles, it only gets worse



And here's a description of what happened.


The shirts tell us that it was a group of students from Covington Catholic High School, an all-male school founded in 1925 in northern Kentucky near Cincinatti. The school has locked down their twitter and facebook accounts, and the diocese is apparently just getting up to speed. Reports are that the group was in DC for the March for Life. Yes, that's a lot of irony, or hypocrisy.

The story hit USA today already today, and is spreading rapidly because it is so freaking appalling. What kind of atmosphere creates students who think this is okay? And where in the hell were the chaperones for this group? How does any school lose its way so badly-- particularly one that says its mission is to spread the love of Jesus Christ?

This is way beyond boys will be boys. Yes, teen aged boys can be awful. That's why parents and teachers--and religion, for crying out loud--are supposed to exert some kind of civilizing effect on them, even in times when the leader of the free world is an unapologetic racist bully. It takes so many levels of fail to get to the point of this video; the chaperones who aren't hauling all of those guys out of there with promises of detention until they're fifty are only the last line of defense that failed (and that includes the superintendent who was reportedly with them on the trip). This is not okay. It's not okay that they did it, and it's even less okay that they walked to this moment right past a great long line of adults who failed to help them understand how wrong this is, public and private, official and unofficial. These boys have failed hugely, and their failure is a reflection on every adult in their lives and our society as it stands right now.

I will not tar all Catholic schools with this event, nor will I pretend that public schools are incapable of this type of crap (remember Barabo High and the Hitler salute).  This is just a reminder that all of us--all of us--need to do better, to be better. Donald Trump's America is an ugly damned place and all the "this is not who we are" talk will not save us as long as this kind of shit goes on without consequence. Let's hope lots of folks at Covington are taking a good hard look at themselves today. This is just so ugly and appalling and heartbreaking and awful.

Every classroom in America should be talking about this next week, and explaining why it is so very wrong.

As for the man with the drum who stood up through all this, here he is. This is Nathan Phillips, of Omaha, is a Vietnam Veteran who hosts a sacred pipe ceremony at Arlington Let's hope this helps wash some of the taste of the ugly out of your eyes:




15 comments:

  1. The first adm. does provide the freedom to express ones self. Didn't hear of any violence by the teens.

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    1. You are correct. The first amendment does provide the freedom to express to the world that they are racist bullies.

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    2. coachteacher, you're right. It also affords us the freedom to hold them responsible for their offensive and reprehensible behavior. Oh, and not all violence is physical.

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    3. WE are free to express ourselves, yes. We are not free from the consequences of our expressions. These kids had on their school shirts, so everything they said and did reflected back on their school. So, free to be snotty bullies. Not free from school discipline for their choice.

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    4. My mother always used to say "Just because you can, doesn't mean you should". These are awful children and they are old enough to know better. They have been taught to hate and to act this way and that is a shame.

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    5. As I teach my journalism students, the First Amendment gives us the right of free speech, but it does not shield us from the consequences of that speech. So many people fail to learn that lesson.

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    6. Intimidation *is* violence. I agree with Mrpibb. I'm sorry for those whose teacher/coach you are.

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  2. Yes. Yes they do.

    However, if your bar for acceptable teenage behavior is "Well, they didn't hit them!" then "coachteacher", I don't really want you as my sons coach or teacher.

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  3. Mrpibb, I agree with you. These students are representing their school. I hope they face serious consequences and that they are named and shamed. Of course they were in DC to March against the autonomy of 51% of the population so I can't say I'm surprised that they lack respect for Native Americans too.

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  4. I can't understand what the students were chanting. Can anybody else?

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  5. Saying "Build the wall" to Native protesters - how ironic. Those protesters are probably thinking they wish their ancestors had built a wall....

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  6. According to their website, the school is dismayed by this behavior and is threatening discipline up to expulsion for those involved (all 50-70 of them?). What about discipline up to termination for the staff who allowed it to happen?

    In any case, maybe the school shouldn't worry too much. If recent history is any guide, perhaps some of these boys are on their way to fine futures as Supreme Court Justices. Or am I the only one who can picture Bart O'Kavanaugh amongst this crowd?

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    1. Yes, Dienne, the smirking Kavanaugh would fit right in. A sad comment on the power dynamics of America today.

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  7. Peter,
    I have noticed that you didn't walk this post back after a more complete picture of what happened that day came out. Please don't be like the other typical bloggers and ignore new developments and let what you had previously written stand. I would hope that you are not above saying you were incorrect, or at least jumped the gun a bit...

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  8. For all the folks who jumped the gun on this one, you may want to watch this video. Or perhaps your minds are already made up...

    https://youtu.be/lSkpPaiUF8s

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