Discouraging Disrespect | Mark’s Remarks - Republic-Times | News

Discouraging Disrespect | Mark’s Remarks

By on February 14, 2018 at 10:00 am

We were at a recent sporting event in which we sat near the “pep club.” I know a lot of the kids in the pep club and I think they are good kids. They have good parents.  The teachers who supervise the pep club are good people. So, I’m not dogging anyone in particular.

During the singing of the National Anthem, the kids in the pep club section rose as they are supposed to, but a large group of them found it necessary to sing the anthem in a comical way, singing loudly or even putting in their own lyrics.  

I looked around. Several adults were appalled. It was evident.

I would venture to say many of the parents of these kids either weren’t there or didn’t notice. Some who were there, perhaps, found nothing wrong with the behavior. 

I can say the same thing about school personnel. Maybe they didn’t notice, maybe they didn’t know what to do, or maybe they saw nothing wrong with the behavior.

While I’m on the subject of how kids behave, and while I’m complaining, I have a few other questions to ask. Why aren’t cheerleaders actually leading the crowd anymore? Why do many of them stand with frowns on their faces? Cheerleaders, back in the day, stood near the band, cheered the crowd on as much as possible, and weren’t worried about getting their hair messed up or breaking a sweat.  

And they sure as heck smiled and looked like they were enthused, even if it was forced.

Speaking of standing near the band, I wonder why the band and the “pep club” don’t work together? Think of how much more the crowd could be “whipped up” with the combined efforts of the pep club, cheerleaders, and the band?  

Just my opinion, I suppose.

I’m starting to sound like an old curmudgeon, but I’m telling you, the school officials in my day wouldn’t have put up with the disrespect we saw the other night.

As a large group, the students would be lectured and our administrators would have most likely banned the pep club for a few games. And the parents wouldn’t have taken the kids’ side.

Speaking of parents; in my day, most of the parents would have jerked their kids’ disrespectful butts right out of that game with punishment to follow.

Now, I know that kids will be kids. They spend a great deal of time working on how to be cool, how to be comics, how to get attention. As I said before, they aren’t necessarily bad kids.  But in this day and age, kids have to be told and constantly reminded how to conduct themselves. 

And shame, shame for disrespecting the flag and anthem.

Adults want to be cool, too.  Teachers want to be popular and well thought of, so they don’t get on to kids. Like teenagers, they spend a great deal of time working on their image and being popular.  We wouldn’t want to appear uncool or out of touch by reprimanding kids for poor behavior.

And there you have my latest soapbox rant. Thank you for reading.

Mark Tullis

Mark is a 25-year veteran teacher teaching in Columbia. Originally from Fairfield, Mark is married with four children. He enjoys reading, writing, and spending time with his family, and has been involved in various aspects of professional and community theater for many years and enjoys appearing in local productions. Mark has also written a "slice of life" style column for the Republic-Times since 2007.