There’s irony in the fact that, during this season of high-school commencement ceremonies, when graduating students celebrate 12 years of education and are assured that they possess the qualities to make the world a better place, teens are wreaking so much havoc on the community.
This week, a litany of teenaged misbehaviour has frustrated police to the point that Staff Sgt. Grant Learned, one of the lead spokespeople for the Kamloops RCMP detachment, spoke out about it.
“Where are the parents?” he asked after a particularly bizarre string of incidents beginning with a break-in at a cold beer and wine store and ending in a vintage vehicle being torched, but not before graffiti vandalism was found in the area, along with drug paraphernalia.
Afterward, two teens were escorted to the drunk tank to sober up.
“Don’t the parents know where their children are?” Learned wondered. “Aren't they aware when they come home that they’re smelling of liquor? That they have cuts and bruises from being chased through the bush?”
So, yes, parents need to pay more attention. Kids are prone to hanging out and looking for their own entertainment. If there’s nothing ready-made, they will create their own through experimentation and choices that are often inappropriate.
Meanwhile, back at the gym, decked out in their gowns and mortarboards, the grads of 2012 are listening to fine speeches about how they hold the future of the universe in their hands, and that the best is yet to come.
And, indeed, most of them are fine young men and women who will work their way through the perils of youth, complete their education and enter the workforce, perhaps even becoming leaders in various walks of life.
Nobody should stereotype young people as being all delinquents or all bright young hopes. A high school English teacher has been making waves this past week for providing a reality check to a high-school grad class in Wellesley, Mass.
David McCullough told them, “… Consider for a moment the bigger picture: your planet, I'll remind you, is not the center of its solar system, your solar system is not the center of its galaxy, your galaxy is not the center of the universe. In fact, astrophysicists assure us the universe has no center; therefore, you cannot be it. Neither can Donald Trump, which someone should tell him, although that hair is quite a phenomenon.”
But the core of his message was that living a good and useful life requires work. “The fulfilling life, the distinctive life, the relevant life, is an achievement, not something that will fall into your lap because you're a nice person or mommy ordered it from the caterer.”
At the end of his speech, McCullough implored them, “Good luck. Make for yourselves, please, for your sake and for ours, extraordinary lives.”
Some of our youth out there would do well to ponder that teacher’s words before they go on their next drunken crime spree.
We Say editorials represent the viewpoint of The Daily News and are written by editor Robert Koopmans, city editor Tracy Gilchrist, news editor Mike Cornell or associate news editors Dan Spark and Mark Rogers.