Ugly day lacks pretty solution

Published 10:14 pm Monday, September 17, 2007

Friday was an ugly day at Natchez High School — three fights, 14 arrests and one wasted educational day.

What ultimately happened was that a relatively small dispute turned into a completely disrupted day for the hundreds of good, rule-abiding students.

Going into lockdown mode, having police officers respond and pepper spray your classmates certainly makes for a memorable day.

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But it doesn’t teach you a thing about reading, writing and arithmetic.

The old saying says, “One bad apple can spoil the whole barrel.” That saying applies here when you paint the incident with a big brush, but doing so also does a disservice to those — mostly juveniles — who were at the center of the fights.

Sure those students are nearly adult, but most of them aren’t there yet. While we’d like to think high schoolers all have their heads screwed on right, some don’t. Some are immature and juvenile.

After such ugly days armchair critics are quick to seek a scapegoat for this kind of behavior. The truth is only the parents can truly instill in their children what’s right and what’s wrong.

And, until someone figures out a good, legal way to legislate good parenting skills, such problems are likely to continue.

Yes, it was an ugly day Friday on the Natchez High School campus, but it’s an ugly day without a simple, pretty solution.