We read a recent article in the Camera, “Police hope to end senior camping trip” with concern. As parents of 2 sons who attended Boulder High it’s been our observation that there has been an ongoing ratcheting down of the students who
attend local high schools. Perhaps this is simply a “Post Columbine” response. The students of todays high schools couldn’t be the repository of more mixed messages. What seems to be lost today by schools, the police, and administrations is that today’s student is the same adolescent who has always existed. This means a young adult who is trying to find one’s way through the gauntlet of hormones, peer pressure, a sense of loss of one’s childhood/innocence, todays social and technological influence, etc. In short, being a high school senior in a way must feel like one doesn’t know if one is fish or fowl.
Not to mention, that being young is the proving ground of making “right” choices.
It’s been our experience with our children that the administration’s reactive response to mistakes is more punitive than disciplinary. I don’t mean to suggest that teenagers be given a free pass or that there are not consequences for poor judgement. But it is apparent that teenagers are not only confused by adult behavior, but discriminated against. They aren’t allowed to make mistakes without criminal consequences anymore. Once in middle school children are told they aren’t babies any more. Then in high school teachers and administrators demand adult like behavior. By 18 boys are eligible for the draft and are considered adult enough to sacrifice themselves on battle fields. Yet, as seniors they’re treated like children.
They are not adult enough to spend one night out with their peers as a ritualistic
farewell to friends and acquaintances they may never see again? Shame on you….
Stephen and Leigh Collector