Failing our community

BowieCCT1's picture

“He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.”
Benjamin Franklin made that statement a long time ago, but it has never been more true.
There are a whole lot of folks in Bowie County making a whole lot of excuses this week, instead of owning up to the truth and accepting the consequences. To me, just like ol’ Ben said, that doesn’t make them good for much else.
The last couple of weeks have had me perplexed, confused, angry and mostly, disappointed. It is disappointing when there are things going on in so many places at the same time, with those who should be taking responsibility instead pointing fingers and making excuses.
There has to be some accountability somewhere at some point, and it has always been my stance that accountability starts at the top. When there is a problem at the Tribune, come to me.
The same is true for our local school districts.
Whether you bleed maroon and gold, black and orange or are a die hard Cardinals fan for life, you have to admit there are some holes in the dam that need to be plugged. It is impossible to ignore, and doing so any longer sets a bad precedent.
So, let’s start right there.
How can we expect school age children to act right, when there are no consequences when they don’t? Or, how do we expect them to act right when they see those in a position of authority over them doing wrong and getting away with it?
A leader cannot lead effectively if those who they are leading do not believe in them. You cannot motivate someone to excellence when excellence doesn’t exist.
It boggles my mind to see people taking on the mantle of leadership when they have no solid ground to stand on. It is like putting a fox in charge of guarding the henhouse.
Especially when it comes to our school children.
Someone told me this week that our local schools are the community. New Boston would not be New Boston without Lion pride. DeKalb would not be DeKalb without the sea of orange. It is the same way in Hooks, Maud, Redwater, Simms and every other town we cover.
The schools are the heartbeat of every community. The town cheers when a team wins. Applause rings out when a student wins an academic medal in Austin. Let a kid get hurt, and people from all over will rally around and pray. That is just the way it is for us.
Our kids are our world.
So why are we failing them? And make no mistake, we are failing them.
We are failing them at every side. There are too many recent examples of how we are failing them, and that is what irks me so much.
That is what needs to change.
We have to become accountable. We have to give our children a model to pattern themselves after. We have to live our lives in such a way that our kids have a role model. Even more than role models, our kids need to be shown that in real life, out there in the real world, when you mess up, there are consequences.
And I am telling you, there have been too many examples lately when there have been no consequences.
When a kid sends an illicit picture of themselves and it gets shared all over a school…there should be consequences.
When kids get caught doing bad things in class, or on a school trip…there should be consequences.
When a teacher is known to have committed a crime with a student…there should be consequences.
When someone in a position of authority knew about one of these acts, and did nothing aside from covering it up or keeping it quiet…there should be consequences.
When there are no consequences, there is no deterrent for future misbehavior, and that is a snowball that is getting bigger and bigger around these parts.
In a favorite video of mine this story is told and it seems very appropriate right now.
A man goes in to brush his teeth and he sees a roach on his toothbrush. He swats at it and the roach runs under the toothpaste. He swats again and the roach scampers under his comb. Again he swats and the roach runs under the sink.
The man surmises, that it is folly for the roach because no matter where it runs, he sees it. He compares the roach to us in our sinful lives and how no matter where we run or try to hide, God sees.
Our kids see us.
Our kids see when someone in authority messes up and tries to hide things. Our kids see when we as parents and leaders and authority figures don’t take accountability for our actions.
More than that, they see, and we are their role models. They do pattern themselves after us. So, if a kid sees you get away with your bad behavior, why would they see any reason not to have some of their own?
We can teach kids reading, writing and arithmetic and we can get them through an assessment test, but if we aren’t teaching them how to behave as adults, what is the point?
John F. Kennedy once said, “Leadership and learning are indispensable.”
Maybe some of our leaders, need to do some learning.
Some are definitely failing our community.









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