And we wonder why our kids are lost

And we wonder why our kids are lost The post And we wonder why our kids are lost appeared first on WS Chronicle.

And we wonder why our kids are lost

Originally, I was going to write about Aaron Judge’s historic season with the New York Yankees. However, after hearing the news of the events that transpired at a local football game, my focus immediately shifted there.

For those that have not heard, there was yet another fight at a local youth sporting event. The game between Mt. Tabor vs. East Forsyth was cut short due to the fighting. This trend of fights at high school and youth events continues to rise and it will get to the point where spectators are not allowed if this is not put in check.

What was supposed to be a matchup of the top two undefeated local teams, turned into another incident where police had to respond. The disturbance was bad enough to have officials end the game with three minutes left on the clock, ruining a terrific moment for the Eagles as they inched one step closer to their dream ending for this season.

I was not at the game, but I have heard varying accounts of what transpired. I have heard that there was a fight in the crowd that deputies responded to and pepper spray was used. I have also heard that it also spilled into the parking lot where people also had to be restrained. In any case, something unfortunate did happen and it’s happening way too often, which is quite honestly, really getting on my last nerve.

I wrote a column a couple of months back pertaining to the behavior of parents in the stands after hearing of a 7-on-7 tournament in Charlotte that was shut down because of the behavior of the parents. I see now that the problem is more widespread than I initially thought.  

I thought it was bad when I heard of the incident that happened at Dudley in early September when the game was called at halftime because of multiple fights outside of the stadium. From several accounts that I have heard, the majority of the students involved were from other schools around the county, as several schools were on a bye for that week. Nonetheless, it still points to the fact that our children are getting way out of control.

To me, it seems that we are hearing about incidents like this more often, which begs the question of why? Why does it seem that kids nowadays are more out of control than ever? Why does it feel like kids feel so comfortable misbehaving in a violent manner?

Those are the questions that I have been asking myself for several months now. I have had discussions with family and friends on the topic and there seems to be a myriad of reasons and theories out there as to why our kids are acting the way they are. They can speculate all they want to but from my experience, it comes from two main factors: the home and the advance in technology.

When I was growing up, respect was demanded in the home by my parents and outside of the home by the other adults I encountered in school or the neighborhood. I was deathly afraid of disrespecting my parents, adults in the neighborhood that knew my parents, or even teachers at the school. Nowadays, it seems that respect has been lost on our young folks.

I remember being scared to death of my teacher calling my parents and telling them that I had been disrespectful at school. The threat of that whooping I was going to receive for my bad behavior had me on pins and needles the entire ride home on the school bus. It also made me think twice about it, the next time I even thought about doing something wrong.  

Not only was I scared of my parents, other adults in the neighborhood had the authority to discipline me as well and if they didn’t, they would tell my parents what I was doing wrong. So, I had to be on my best behavior at all times in the neighborhood. It just doesn’t seem like the kids now have that same level of respect and fear for adults as when I was growing up.

Also, kids have access to things these days that we did not when we were younger. Kids now can see anything at the drop of a hat online through YouTube, social media, television shows and movies, which makes them grow up faster than ever. They are also allowed to be around grown people while they are talking. Growing up, we were not allowed to be around adults while they were talking. We were immediately sent to the other room.

But to be honest, I can’t blame the kids for acting the way they act on the court or in the stands, because of the way some of these parents are acting in the stands. Kids are just emulating what they see their parents doing, and the adults are acting more like children at these games, to tell the truth.

I get to see the unruly parents from different perspectives. As a referee, a parent of an athlete, and also as a journalist. Some of the things I hear from the stands are appalling and sad. It has gotten to a point where I hear grown men and women belittling and insulting teenage children on the court or field. It even happens on social media all too frequently as well.  Is this where we have come to as a society?

I see nothing wrong with good-natured banter back and forth between rival teams, or even a little trash talk from folks in the crowd. But when it gets to the point of tearing down a 16-year-old kid, or using profanity against a child, that’s going too far. I thought the point of sports was to uplift the kids and teach them discipline.  

What pains me the most to write is that Black people are the most common offenders. I am saddened by the fact that we as Black people are portraying ourselves in this way at youth sporting events. And we wonder why we are lagging behind the other races in so many areas. Hell, we can’t even convene together at a youth sports game without fighting. I can’t say exactly how I truly feel as I am not allowed to write that in print, but let’s just say it makes me sick to my stomach. We must do better as a people or else we are doomed to continue down this dangerous path.

I get so upset about this issue because of the potential we have as a people. Why is there such a need to continue this crabs-in-a-barrel mentality, when if we came together, we could prosper so greatly inside and outside of our own communities. 

But no, that’s not important. Let’s just continue to fight about whose high school team is better. Yeah, that’s smart.


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