Wednesday, January 28, 2009

East v. LaFollette

Last night I watched the East v. La Follette boys varsity high school basketball game at La Follette. What took place in the second half was absolutely ridiculous in my eyes. And I'm not talking about the game.

The East High student section was standing, as was La Follette's group. As they were chanting "Scoreboard!" after a big shot, a supervisor from La Follette decided to make them all sit down. Nevermind her own students were shouting "USA" which in kid-term means "You Suck Ass." Four of the East High students were asked to leave for causing a ruckus.

Not Ok.

This was after she harrassed them for eating popcorn in the stands, and took away their food from them. She monitored them as if they were animals in a cage, and had help from one of the East High principals.

Then, as the clock ticked down in the fourth quarter, East with a solid lead, the announcer made the distinction between which door the students were to exit from. La Follette to the east side of the gym, East to the west door. "It's so they don't fight," I heard a few people say.

How about giving these students a bit more credit. We expect them to behave like animals, like children fighting over a toy, and so they do. Separating their exits? How about we treat them like adults and see if they can actually walk thru the same door.

If not, what does it matter-they continue to fight outside anyway. It is a direct result of the behavior of their instructors, who do not raise the bar for their behavior.

Little Women said it best: "When you hit and humiliate a child, the only lesson she will learn is to hit and humiliate." Granted these children aren't being hit, they are being caged and underestimated. They are, in many ways, being humiliated.

You wonder why there are thugs and gangs in high school, why no one can keep a child under control. We are asking them to act out, asking them to disobey authority. How about letting kids be kids at games. Let them wear a baseball hat after the bell rings, and chant loudly for their varsity boys. How else to suck the life from a teenager, than to rob them of their teenage fun?

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