Saturday, November 6, 2010

Be careful little eyes what you see....

The other day I posted the lyrics to "Slow Fade" by Casting Crowns. I have been feeling really discouraged lately by what I am seeing and hearing from the children in my community.

As a teacher, you hear lots of things from children about their home life. I am certain that elementary teachers hear far more from their students than I do at the junior high. By the age of 12 or 13, they have learned to keep their mouths shut about some things. But still, many of my students feel the need to confide in me about their lives.

Earlier in the year, on picture day, I had a girl beg me to wear her nose ring in her picture (face piercings are not allowed at BJH) because she said that her mom had told her that the nose ring "showed her personality." This past week, another one of my students was requesting to go use the phone so she could call her mom to bring another belly button ring for her because she had lost the first one during athletics class. She was furious when I said no, saying that I would be getting a call from her mother because she had spent $45 on this piercing and it was going to close up. The mother didn't call, but part of me wished that she had, so I could have told this parent what I thought about a 13 year old girl getting a belly piercing.

We have dress code check every morning and I am constantly having to correct two or three girls in my classroom who try to hide their revealing shirts under their jackets. I often wonder how they get out of their house wearing these outfits. But I guess I shouldn't wonder, because I see girls as young as 6 years old wearing outfits that are more appropriate for 21 year olds, and I know their mothers are putting those outfits on them.

My students often argue with me about cursing. I have several students who claim their parents allow them to use curse words so that they can "express themselves." "They are just WORDS," they say. "They don't mean anything!" Really????

Most of my students are watching rated "R" movies, like "The Hangover" and "Stepbrothers." These movies are rated "R" for crude and sexual humor. They are also watching "Family Guy" and "South Park" on TV. How can we wonder why 13 year olds have so much knowledge for their age when this is what they are watching? The rating system is supposed to let parents know what is and is not appropriate for their children to watch, so how can they knowingly allow their children to watch programs appropriate for people 17 or older?

I think the answer is that they are not really paying attention. Children have TVs and computers in their rooms. They have access to explicit material on their cell phones. Then they share this material with all of their friends.

Recently, another teacher shared with me a disturbing story. A couple of junior high girls who happen to be sisters were hanging around in front of the school at 7pm one night with a few boys. When she asked them what they were doing, they claimed they had been in drama practice. The teacher called the drama teacher and he said there had been no practice for those girls that day. So, the teacher called their mom. When the teacher expressed her concern for the girls' safety to their mother, the mother replied, "Well, that's being a bit paranoid." Paranoid. Not allowing your 13 and 14 year old girls to run wild through Brownsboro is paranoid.

Why are parents in a hurry to let their children grow up? Little eyes and ears watch and listen from an very early age. They are soaking up everything you are doing. You talk badly about others, listen to music or watch TV meant for adults in their presence, curse, smoke, get drunk, use sexual humor....and your children are taking notes.

Be careful little eyes what you see.....

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