The Constant Need For Attention And Acceptance | Mark’s Remarks - Republic-Times | News

The Constant Need For Attention And Acceptance | Mark’s Remarks

By on December 13, 2017 at 8:30 am

Before I get started, I must qualify the topic I’m writing about and say a few things.  

First of all, as a male, I can tell you we can be pretty disgusting. I’ve been around and participated in locker room talk plenty of times, and it’s pretty stupid. I don’t know what gets into guys, especially when it comes to women.

Way back when, as a young man, I remember how many of us talked to one another about different girls. Looking back, I can tell you that most of us were just full of it, thinking we needed to talk that way to prove our manhood, gain acceptance, or feel good about it all. Again, very stupid and unfortunate that so many boys and men feel they must do this.  I’d venture to say most of them would rather not participate and I applaud the guys that shy away from it. 

Suddenly, there has been a rash of sexual misconduct allegations from just about every facet of our society. I’m glad women finally feel that enough is enough, and I’m glad that all this press and upheaval is going to get something done. I think there are going to be a lot of positive things that happen as a result of all of this. 

I’m sure there are many more women who have legitimate claims who will either come forward or now feel empowered to stand up for themselves. What a shame that women have had to put up with this for so long.  

The pessimist in me says there will most likely still be issues that go unreported, but like I said, I’m in hopes that there are huge, positive changes across the board in every nook and cranny of society. Enough is enough. Respect for everyone. Do unto others.

Now, here goes a side opinion related to all this. I know many of you feel the same way.  How many allegations out there are either false, unwarranted, or simply a way to gain attention?  

Yes, there are most likely countless instances that need to be addressed. But are some people stepping forward to gain a little time in the spotlight? I’ll probably get some icy stares for saying this. 

It reminds me of something that happened a few years ago in a local community. Several years ago, there was a child abduction in the area and schools started paying more attention to security procedures. Doors started being locked with only one entrance available. Even then, people had to be checked in or approved before entering the building.

Many of us were very glad for several reasons. We were, of course, feeling much safer and better about keeping our kids protected. There were plenty of us who had taught long enough to remember the day when parents could walk right into school, bypass the office, and walk right into your classroom, disrupting everything. 

Can you believe it? I’m glad those days are over. 

A few weeks after the local abduction, news teams came to one of the schools and interviewed a principal, some teachers and students. It seems that a car had stopped along the road and questioned a child walking home from school. 

Teachers knew who the child was, and there was some hushed talk over the next few days about whether or not the story was accurate. Those teachers who knew the child remembered plenty of times when fabrications and falsehoods were told, mostly to gain attention.  There were times when sicknesses would be imagined and even one instance in which a broken bone was reported. 

All of the stories and illnesses turned out to be false. In these cases, the child is often counseled and watched closely.  It’s a shame children can learn to behave this way early on because they are lacking something in their lives.

In this particular case, educators went to the proper authorities, voicing their concern and reporting their “gut feelings.” Sure enough, the truth was eventually wormed out of the student and the story was entirely made up. 

You have to be careful with children when you are trying to get a straight story out of them.  Sometimes, they may feel pressured or prodded to admit a lie when the story is indeed true.  In this case, however, a full admission was given to the parents and authorities. 

A rather unfortunate story; but a lesson was learned.

What are we to do though when something this serious is alleged? We have no choice than to investigate, and I wonder how much time and energy is being put into made up stories or misinterpretations. At the same time, I wonder how many serious, real cases are being put on the backburner due to the amount of falsehoods?

I think we need to be very careful about any type of allegation and I think we need to pay close attention to details and those doing the reporting.

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.