2018-03-11 / Sports

THE PRESSBOX

New norm raises my hackles

The new norm, as it is being coined, is a sad statement of how we are living and dealing with one another. At last count, we have read about, or watched on TV, 20-plus school threats since the massacre at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Twenty. Locally, Almont, Caro, Cass City, Kearsley, Bentley, Millington and Swartz Creek have had threats. If that doesn’t enrage and/or scare the crap out of you, you may very well be part of the problem.

People don’t know how to deal with disappointment, anger and the challenges of life anymore. Why is that? Kids on high school and college teams quit. People in the workforce quit. Others take their frustrations out on others showing up at work or schools with a gun. That still speaks to the rampant bullying at schools and workplaces. What’s become of our society?

To continue to say that it’s just immature, bored kids looking for attention or a day off school can’t be acceptable anymore. Kids are stupid at this age. That’s scientifically proven, not a stick in the eye from me. When the experts sit on a live TV interview and say that kids in these age brackets don’t have fully developed brains and don’t understand consequences, to some extent, that’s a failure by parents. I knew full well what consequences meant at an early age and there was no gray area in that.

Time and time again, I hear parents talk about being afraid to parent their kids, worrying too much about damaging the friendship they have created with their kids. That’s so backwards that it makes my head spin. Parents aren’t supposed to be friends. They’re supposed to be parents.

I said again this past week, “I am so glad I don’t have kids”. Not that I don’t like kids. Wish I had several. Had names picked out and everything. Apparently that wasn’t in the cards for me. But I cannot even imagine the stress parents are under today with the heightened fears and what they have to watchdog over. It’s a fulltime job.

These school threats are pretty far reaching and we’ve even been caught in the web. We were locked out of two athlete college signings this month alone when no one was available to buzz us into the school. That’s good on one hand, but not so great on another. I’d much rather we miss out on a signing ceremony than to hear that everyone and their brother is still allowed to roam freely through the schools via unlocked doors.

But what about after school? It’s great that schools are implementing lock-in policies. What happens at night though, when we, and entire communities, are allowed to just enter a school, no questions asked to watch high school athletics? No bags or coats are checked. Enormous campuses give people free access over large ball fields, tracks and stadiums.

That’s not sitting so well with us, and quite frankly, raises my hackles. I’ve gotten really picky lately about what schools we are willing to travel to for sports. Who’s monitoring who is coming and going? There is no police presence whatsoever at most sites and the slightest uproar in the crowds rattles many of us.

That has to be the next biggest nightmare for every school district: How to protect everyone at after-school events. Do you feel safe? I don’t.

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