Parents Defend Instead of Enforce

Madison Alvarado, Staff Writer

Recent allegations against several members of the junior class regarding a shared Google Doc erupted on campus in February as information  leaked out about the “HUNDO SQUAD.” The boys involved stand accused of writing graphic stories about other students, and using the school network inappropriately. The issue aroused several types of reactions around the community; some people feel the boys were punished too harshly, while others have taken the opposite viewpoint and wish they had faced more severe consequences. Regardless of the consequence, what I struggle to comprehend is why a parent would try to justify or excuse their kids’ bad behavior.

I can understand a parent’s need to protect their child from things that can be detrimental to their future. That is totally natural and it would concern me if parents weren’t worried about the success of their child. But at what point does this protection go from necessary to harmful?

Some parents will breach all kinds of limits to make sure their child doesn’t get suspended or in trouble of any sort because they fear it will affect college acceptance. Colleges may ask students who apply to their school if they have ever been suspended and students are expected to answer honestly. However, I am left questioning whether kids should have clean records simply because their parents make it so. Why shouldn’t everyone face the full consequences for their actions?

The problem could be summed up with one question: At what point should parents stop trying to “protect” their kids from harm and start talking to them about what it means to do the right thing?

As different issues arise in Orinda, whether it be suspension or other types of punishment,  some kids run to their powerful mommies and daddies to solve their problems and learn nothing about the difference between right and wrong. They feel entitled and use their parents to threaten those who are trying to impose reasonable rules. Instead of implementing actual parenting skills, certain parents are rushing to the defense of their kids without even considering who is really at fault in the situation.

If I wrote demeaning things about my peers, my parents would accept my suspension as a rightful punishment and probably add on some more of their own. And I am so grateful to my parents for that because it has drawn a clear line between right and wrong for me.

The kids whose parents defend them to the death so they don’t get in trouble don’t have it that easy. Parents create a grey area for morals. When your parents defend something you have done wrong and you aren’t punished, you never really learn why it was wrong. It is harder to rightfully punish cyberbullying, among other issues, because a select number of parents make it so. In defending instead of reprimanding their children, parents don’t teach kids valuable life lessons about taking responsibility for their actions.

Some parents act more like the children—they whine, threaten, and try to find a loophole to worm their way out of sticky situations instead of facing them. Nowadays it seems as though they are more concerned with where their kids get into college rather than if the kids have morals and know the difference between right and wrong. Kids need to learn to take responsibility for their actions instead of running to their parents to get out of trouble.

So for all of the parents reading this, I am asking one last question: What do you really want to teach your kids?