The NY Times poses the question, "Are kids today ruder and less civilized than in the past?"
I am not so sure it's that simple although from their surveys it sounds like most Americans think so.
I grew up in a large suburban high school near Dayton, Ohio in the 70's. There were 637 students in my senior class and their reputation wasn't good. Drugs and vandalism were rampant and police busts for drugs was a weekly occurrence. Students were apathetic and school spirit did not exist. Disrespectful and rude behavior to teachers was common.
We moved here to raise our families and enjoy the benefits of our county.
In terms of general politeness, when I walk the halls of our schools today, I see students that regularly make eye contact and smile. Many say "Hi," and a surprising number of them say, "Hi Dr. Stock." (Usually followed by, "How come you didn't call a snow delay today?" This year a small group of students even told me they were going to rent giant fog machines to put outside my house! There you go Tyler Wear - I told you I would use your name. LOL)
When I was in school I didn't even know that a school had a superintendent much less what his name was. Even if I did, I wouldn't have felt welcome to smile at them and address them by name.
In the classrooms today, many teachers say that students are more outgoing, talkative and aware than students from decades ago. However, many also say that general politeness has clearly declined. I suppose students today are more outgoing and generally more "aware" due to the increased openness of society. That can be good and bad. They are more comfortable to talk to people and share how they feel about things, which includes snapping off rude comments when angry or upset.
Maybe some of this perceived rudeness is due to the lack of formality that politeness requires. I guess I am getting old, but I even remember the exact year when my neighbors asked me to quit calling them "Mr. and Mrs. Osborne," and start calling them, "Claude and Bernice."
It seems like there are positives and negatives to raising our children to be more open.
What do you think?
The Wawascene was created by Dr. Mark Stock, former Superintendent of the Wawasee Community School Corporation. Due to its local popularity, Dr. Stock has left the blog site to future Wawasee administrators.
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