Saturday, May 8, 2010

Who's responsible?

It seems to me like, in alot of aspects of life, people are unable to take responsibility for themselves or their actions. Things get blamed on someone else all the time, when in actuality it was your fault. Nothing in particular has happened to me personally to provoke a blog like this, but I was reminded of an incident at school the other day when talking to a friend today. A girl in primary school had, for whatever reason, bought alcohol to school, and given it to another student in the high school. This girl then took it down to the back of school, and then into the girls toilets, and boozed it up at recess, and by lunchtime, was throwing up. She was taken into the office, sat on a beanbag in front of the reception ladies (she wasn't allowed into sickbay because she was so sick she had to be constantly supervised, and the receptionists didnt have time to just sit in sick bay and watch her...) until her mother came and picked her up. Now, on the phone already, the mother had asked if her daughter was really that sick that she couldnt take the bus home after school? Thats some concern right there. When she got there, she ripped her daughter out of the arms of another teacher who was trying to help her walk out the door, and yelled at all available staff about the state her daughter was in, and wheres the duty of care? When leaving, she told everyone within earshot that we would be hearing from her lawyer... This was a really unexpected reaction for me. Other staff weren't surprised because they knew the mother and they were telling me that if I knew this girls mother then I shouldnt be TOO surprised with her actions... When the mother was told that she had been drinking in the girls toilets, and the teacher on duty was male and cannot be expected to check the activities of all the girls going into the toilets, made up some other argument about the schools duty of care to the students. I really have to wonder about the duty of care that this mother is responsible for? I would have thought that before you're concerned with whether or not your child is actually ABLE to get drunk at school, that you might want to educate your child in the fine art of not getting pissed at school. Other students mentioned to me "Who on earth is stupid enough to get drunk at school!?". I agreed, but for this student, there was something going on in her thought process where she either had some delusional idea that she wasnt going to get caught, or that she just didnt care. But the mother was so quick to point the finger and lay the blame on others, for her daughters seemingly obvious mistake. This isnt the first time this has happened, that parents lay the blame on schools or others for their childrens mistakes. It seems that, from a school point of view, that parents are relying more and more on schools to teach their children EVERYTHING, not just academic, but everything from the students knowing right from wrong, morals and values, self respect... I think that as the students spend so much time at school we ARE responsible for a certain amount of education that is not all academic, but morals, values and right and wrong, are the domain of the family, in my opinion... alot of the time its absolutely not the childs fault, as every individual is the product of its environment, and some kids have a really crappy environment to deal with at home. What chance do they have when they get sent to school under the pretense that these strangers, these teachers they barely know, are going to be bringing them up in a sense? Teaching them right from wrong? Who are these teachers trying to tell them that their actions are totally inappropriate, you arent my mother!

Why is a situation like this, only the schools fault, in the eyes of the mother? How is she not able to take responsibility for the action of her 14 year old daughter? Of course the student needs to take responsibility as well, but for the mother to blame only the school seems completely unreasonable to me... and I see it all the time. People are just unable to take responsibility anymore! With the increased prevalence of mobile phones, you dont even have to be on time anymore, because you can call who youre meeting 5 or 10mins before youre meant to meet them and let them know youre going to be late... nevermind that your friend is on their way already and wasnt going to be late, now they have to wait around, because it seems to be instilled in us now, that we dont HAVE to be on time, because we have the ability to let the person know we'll be late no matter where they are. How did we manage 10 years ago when not everyone had a phone? Shock horror, you had to be on time.

Electronic communication is partially to blame for alot of things I think... not so much for the boozy school girl, but for peoples actions, when they felt they couldnt talk to the person involved. There are so many instances of things that happen between people, when asked why, such as cheating, lying etc people have some far fetched excuse to justify their actions. When you hear these excuses its so clear that so many peoples problems could be solved or avoided by talking to each other! But do we anymore? does anyone really spend much time talking? people text rather than call, they use IM programs such as MSN, AIM, skype or facebook chat... they email, or inbox people... its become normal for people to be able to say something to someone via text, email etc but not to their faces. But we still havent lost all sense of decency, there are things that some people realise cannot be talked about over text, but because we've lost the ability to communicate with people face to face things that need to be said, dont get said... it leads to peope doing stupid or careless things which end up damaging a relationship between partners, friends, family... and then come to far fetched excuses behind their actions...

Like I said before, nothing has happened to me directly to prompt such a post, just the things happening around me, the girl at school and her mother, a friends boyfriend cheating on her a number of times with lame excuses... I really have to wonder whats happened to honesty and taking responsibility for yourself and your actions, as well as your children, if you have them...

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