May 25, 2005
Hospitality workers need not play the
Are hospitality employees responsible for "parenting" party-going
teens, whether at proms or graduation celebrations?
No, and neither should teachers have to be surrogate
Parents are responsible for their children, and educators
are hired to provide insights and nurture learning. Teachers
are unable to do their jobs when they are confronted
daily with out-of-control behaviors that are modeled,
sanctioned and financed by irresponsible parents. Teachers
complain that an increasing amount of their time is spent
on discipline, not learning. When human beings, especially
young people, don't receive clear expectations and limits,
then chaos is the outcome. Hormone-driven teenagers have
the most need, with the least appreciation, for guidelines
that clarify consequences.
At age 16, I remember arriving home later than agreed
- at 3:30 a.m. instead of my midnight curfew. This tardiness
was met with a silent stare from my pacing father. His
few words, beyond saying he was relieved I was home safe,
related to my need to be ready to do a few chores in
Dad never was much with spanking or loud lectures.
Guilt was a powerful five-letter word.
Terms such as responsibility and respect were sprinkled
through his comments about how one should treat even
strangers, let alone parents. As warned, I found myself
at 5:30 that same morning, washing and waxing two cars.
Even today, I phone when I might be late.
Parents and school administrators must get real and
Hotels and restaurants are not paid to supervise children.
Young people see adults abdicating responsibility in
an increasingly permissive society.
Teachers are restrained from challenging family-sanctioned
misbehavior. Popular heroes usually are media-manufactured
- and often spoiled cheaters, themselves.
So parents and educators, please join arms and enforce
constructive standards. Stand for integrity by showing
up and supporting the values you care about. This is
graduation season. With approval from those in authority,
- Get involved.
- Offer to be a chaperone.
- Prowl the parking lots.
- Move around the dance floor.
- Roam the halls.
Integrity, and our children, can be the winners.