Crime prevention programs and juvenile justice advertisements point to the irresponsibility of parents. Education departments around the country have caught on and now blame all of their education delivery problems on the parents. Youth are taught by these commercials not to be responsible. Where did this type of responsibility assignment, or misassignment, begin?
The Senator Vargrave commercials, "take care is better than don't care" are significant examples of misassignment of responsibility.
A child rudely and discourteously interrupts her mother's attention in a news television report or something the mother has considered important. The child says, "mom, mom, mom" and then takes on a disgusting look. The mother continues to look at the television. The alter of the commercial is when the mother stops what she is doing to respond immediately to the child. The child's need is prioritized above the mother's television time and the child is rude by not saying excuse me, mom.
Another Vargrave commercial shows a child cursing, as the word is blanked out, drawing a fist back at her sister and when mom challenges the behavior the child answers "from you mom." Mom is not asking about the vulgar speech but challenges only the child's attempt to hit her sister.
Most national commercials show youth overcoming drugs alone, without family nor friend assistance. The commercials displays only the hurt the youth's participation in drugs cost him/her without showing what hurt and what it cost others including society. It is of no interest of society nor parents, other than a human despair, for one to be on drugs or involved in crime. It becomes an interest of society and parents when their individual world is impacted negatively. Of course, the youth care less as they are unsophisticated nor culturalized to any rules of behavior vis-a-vis one another; civilization is a process learned by society.
The worst display of responsibility assignment is the effort made by our two superintendents of schools for each district, St. Thomas/St. John and St. Croix. Every so often, a news article allegedly written by them jointly insist that good parenting is their greatest deterrent to a failed education process. Here, two very respected educators have succumbed to responsibility reassignment by giving advice, outside their earned expertise, in parenting while their earned expertise, managing the staffs of our schools, goes errant. Two very respected and knowledgeable educators have opted to accept the excuse of parenting and child behavior as being the major cause of failure to educate our children. What happens to the tiger, the lion, the elephant and the porpoise who come from the wild, cannot speak our language, has been removed from parental (and sometimes environmental) exposure wherein a very knowledgeable and respected trainer (teacher) is able to prepare them for circuses and performance? What happens when the trainer is qualified to train or not? How can a wild animal, which does not speak our language, be trained to the civilization of our training demands? How are our incorrigible youth taught by a dropout gang member?
We must not only assign responsibility to our youth, druggies and other antisocial participants but we must train them as to our accepted expectations. Certainly, they will not all make it but surely they will not all shirk responsibility because of our commercial advertising advocacy. The "Lean on Me" movie was appropriate entertainment but not to be taken real. A school principal is a manager and must manage his/her staff and education programs, not his/her students. Teachers must manage his/her lesson plan and class rooms using their lesson plans, programs and class room as the stimulant for student appropriate behavior. Appropriate behavior must be demanded and trained until it becomes routine. Sounds simply, you betcha! We are dealing with simple youth, simple drug users, simple criminals with our smart academic degree inspired knowledge. We cannot let the simple win.


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