Thursday, February 22, 2007

Trite but true: What do you expect when you don't give kids goals to shoot at and to shoot for?

From Polo
Once upon a time, I was the swim coach at Plum High School. I made a request for the water polo goals to be pulled from storage and made available for our team's use and to be set upon on the pool deck.

The goals were not easy to get to. They were behind years of clutter, such as school desks, chairs and plenty of other assorted equipment. The goals were in dirt floor space built under the swim pool bleachers. Reaching the goals would take the work of a couple of guys some hours.

The team and I waited a number of months and made repeated requests before those goals saw the light of day. It was like pulling teeth to get that group of adults to do something for the benefits of the program and kids.
From Polo

Here is the rub: By and large, adults are lazy when contrasted with the youth. Meanwhile, kids are not happy when idle.

At the same time I was requesting access to the water polo goals at the swim pool in Plum, PA State Police were in an all-out manhunt for weeks looking for kids who had been tossing rocks and snowballs onto the PA Turnpike that passes through the same vicinity.

A similar story is breaking now. Objects are being thrown on the Parkway West. - More Objects Thrown At Cars On Parkway West
We need safe highways. Dealing with mindless rocks bashing into speeding traffic is scary. There is no justification for this. Lessons have to be taught.

In another neighborhood, news comes as a teen is shot. The Mt. Oliver drive-by shooting hit a 15 year-old, Carrick High School 10th grader. She was headed to an evening class at Schenley and got hit by two bullets. - Teen Shot In Apparent Mt. Oliver Drive-By Shooting Teen Shot In Apparent Mt. Oliver Drive-By Shooting -- Police: was caught in the cross-fire.
We can't ignore the kids. When the kids don't have anything to shoot at -- and shoot for -- then they'll shoot at each other.

Gangs are a way of life. Gangs are here to stay. Gangs are important to kids because peer pressure becomes one of life's top motivations in their world at certain ages. One doesn't battle the gang mentality by ignoring kids. Rather, I think it is important to get kids in gangs that are positive experiences -- like an orchestra and /or a swim team -- or even a water polo team.
From Frick-swim

From violin-gang

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