Manners Matter: Don’t Excuse Your Child’s Bad Behavior In Public

Courtesy of Red Eye comes this seemingly minor story about flatulence,

11-year-old Christian Summers thinks playing video games is fun. According to his school bus driver, he also thinks passing gas is fun. She didn’t find his flatulence so funny.

…For letting it rip on the ride home, Christian was slapped with an hour of detention at Thoreau Park Elementary.

“I thought it was pretty dumb,” said Summers.

…”The normal reaction is to giggle about it and everyone else is going ewww,” said Jodi Hochevar, a family friend. “But, I don’t think it was definitely not worth being disciplined over.”

….Christian now fears his flatulence. If he’s caught passing gas on the bus again, he could get four or five days of detention.

“Depends on how much more gas he has,” said his father.

Now he’s secretive when letting one slip on his small school bus.

“When I have to pass gas, I have to cover myself because it won’t stink up the bus,” said Christian.

His father says “This shouldn’t have even been a write-up.”

Now kids, being kids, do this sort of thing all the time. It’s a very minor matter. But, there was something that really bugged me about this article and it took me a moment to figure out what it was. Then, it snapped into place: It’s the attitude of everyone that’s involved.

The kid says it was dumb for him to get an hour of detention. The family friend says it was a bad idea to give him detention. His father is saying he shouldn’t have gotten detention.

Well, guess what? It was inappropriate for him to fart on the school bus. It was also disrespectful for an 11 year old kid to fart in the presence of an adult school bus driver. If this kid had better, more responsible parents, they’d have said something more like, “An hour’s detention is what you get for farting on the school bus. I guess next time, you’ll know better.”

Now, you may be thinking, “Geeze, Hawkins, it’s just a kid passing gas. Let’s not make this into a federal offense.” Agreed.

But, let’s also acknowledge that this is symptomatic of a problem we have in our society: We excuse far too much bad behavior in the name of “tolerance,” “political correctness,” and “not being judgmental.”

If we had more people who said something when people acted like jackasses, instead of looking the other way, it would make for a better country. If more parents had the common sense to tell their kids to do the right thing and be on their best behavior around adults, it would make for a better world.

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