Teenage death in the playground

Much sadness and criticisms of a school etc., as a teenager was tragically kicked (?) to death by some thugs in the playground at an Australian school while he was alleged to be stepping in to stop a fight. 

Full details are not known, so it's important not to jump to conclusions. Of course, the media have been on to this and showed students from the school marching into town or somewhere nearby - the attitude of the kids to the media; body language, crude signs etc. tells another story. Do many of these young people actually respect themselves or is the peer pressure the dominant force? Confused young lives and so full of contradictory behaviour.

I work in a school and am aware of the difficulties of monitoring behaviour in a playground, especially if the school is large. Then, of course, there is all the cyber bullying that goes on - who can control that? The secret, dark world of the teenager - very worrying.

We are living in interesting times. Parents want schools to discipline their kids, yet there are so many child protection laws, bubble-wrapping kids, parents attacking schools on behalf of their 'definitely-not-perfect' children and we wonder why we are experiencing so much violence, bullying, antisocial behaviour etc.; why so many kids are drifting, directionless, more confused than they should be .....

I read of a school in another country banning the 2010 School Ball because the Head and staff had felt betrayed by students - all about an after-party, too much alcohol etc. So, the parents jump to protect the children ..... and then we wonder why we have so many issues to deal with.

Students want instant gratification; too many parents seem scared to discipline their kids; other parents willingly give their kids alcohol and wonder why binge drinking seems to be a more problematic issue as the days go by; a lack of respect for authority figures (who are also not perfect), by both students and parents.

The day we return to a situation where parents are role models to their children, role-modelling sound, traditional values that have stood the test of time and work with the schools to deal with so many challenging issues - then we will see some light at the end of the tunnel.

Whoever said teaching was easy and great fun? In 2010 it is a massive challenge and it's easy to see why so many teachers simply give up ... lots of food for thought.

Yes, let's not forget to grieve with the family who lost a teenage son in Australia at such a young age. A totally senseless death, yet symbolic of the challenging society in which we live.


Tagged in: Teenagers
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