WOW! After some serious media posts over students being reprimanded by local law enforcement over school vandalism I wonder what are we truly teaching the next generation? I don’t care how cute you think you are -VANDALISM IS NOT OKAY! Neither is violence.
The fact that this past week was rivalry week and everyone was poking fun at each other is one thing. However, when pranking involves social bullying, fires, painting over signs or tearing up each other’s football fields, stands, or breaking into offices, then I think we need to seriously discourage this kind of behavior and not encourage it. That means parents, teachers, coaches and school administration should teach and model good behavior not poor sportsmanship and this should be ON AND OFF THE FIELD and with BOTH TEAMS!
I’m not sorry that I’m still “OLD SCHOOL” and I believe we should “Train up a child in the way they should go…” That means you don’t dismiss improper behavior. You deal with it directly.
I know what it’s like to discipline children and then deal with the parents also. I taught private school for 10 years and I know very well about the children with problems because ironically they were sent to me at a Christian school when the public schools kicked them out and the parents couldn’t handle them any longer. Then they expected me to change their attitudes and train them differently. I can honestly say I did my best to instill in every student to be their best and to act accordingly. However, I firmly believe it’s the parents’ responsibility to first set the right example for their children and then pray they will follow it.
I am not perfect nor will I ever pretend to be; I have made poor decisions and paid for them dearly. Nevertheless, I also know if we want our children to do what’s right then we must first lead the way as parents, as teachers, as coaches and as school administration.
We have to send the message that vandalism is not okay! Bullying is not okay! Violence is not okay! And trying to justify it all as mere “rivalry fun” is not okay either.
As a taxpayer it’s actually our pennies paying for those football fields and those school buildings, so it should irritate us when someone vandalizes any of it. This goes for ANY school and ANY field and ALL parties involved.
I know we grew up in a different time when as kids ourselves we toilet-papered houses and maybe there were food fights and silly fun, but unfortunately we don’t live in that carefree world anymore. Now students are threatening more than just property. They are threatening our lives.
During this football season alone, students in Oklahoma are threatening to hurt and even kill their rivals. Here are just a few recent Friday Night Highlights for you: – During a Del City and Choctaw game, a 16-year-old Midwest City High School student was shot and killed and two others injured.
– At a Booker T. Washington football game in Tulsa, a teenage boy flashed a gun in the crowd and caused a stampede as people fled the stadium.
– At a Locust Grove and Pryor game another armed student was arrested.
– Owasso recently upped security after receiving bomb threats.
– At Minco a person of interest was taken into custody after several threats were made on TikTok and at school.
Wake up people! This is just the beginning of the season. When we choose to overlook vandalism then the next step is bullying. When we choose to overlook bullying then the next step is physical violence. We have to use common sense and know that there is good ol’ rivalry fun and games, but it snouldn’t ever cross the line. However if it does, then it shouldn’t go without consequences. Administration should not tolerate it ever because if you do tolerate it, I promise you it will escalate into something more serious.
My husband and I are two Wildcats who raised two Ironheads. We understand rivalry completely, even in our own home. However, we do not tolerate violence, bullying or vandalism. Nobody should.
So after one of the oldest uninterrupted rivalry games in the state, I say “Better luck next year, Ironheads” and “Way to go, Wildcats.” Always remember that when the dust settles “Football doesn’t build character, it reveals it.” That’s why I couldn’t be more proud of the winning team as I watched them jump up and down and give glory to God as they accepted the McIntosh County Championship Cup.