Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Kids today: wrong and strong - and they know their rights

[...] In my experience, the children who have problems often come from broken homes with an absentee father, no effective support at school and no mentoring.

Youth today spend hours listening to music glorifying gangsterism and degrading women. They play violent computer games, watch brutal reality DVDs from America and compete with one another as to who's the tougher on YouTube, MSN Messenger or MySpace. They do not see the point of school.

We have to change the pervasive street culture that dominates these children's lives. We have to provide better role models for them than peer groups dedicated to challenging authority by any means at their disposal.

I have seen incidents on their mobile phones that would make your hair stand on end. I have seen boys come in at Year Seven, aged 11, bright and eager to adapt to their new environment.

Because there are no positive male role models in many of their lives, they look not to their teachers - for whom they have no respect, no bond and no inkling that they can actually help them - but to their peers in Years Eight and Nine to give them a lead.

But those peers are already being corrupted by Years Nine and Ten, with their challenges to authority and their unwillingness to learn.

Kids today are wrong and strong - and they know their rights. There is no real counter-balance to this hierarchy of rebellion and disaffection that is shaping their formative psyche. What we have to get across is that it's cool to learn. Read more
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