Golden Rule losing its luster

Posted: Thursday, December 27, 2007

I read about the new house on Bear Lake Road being destroyed by juveniles, up to $10,000 in damages. This just days after reading a letter submitted by June Deitrick asking if we are too busy to teach the golden rule, "Do unto others as you would want them to do unto you." I was compelled to write as I am discouraged with the juvenile court system, our juveniles and the parents of some of these teens.

Over a year ago my husband went to the end of our road for a walk, parked his truck for about 30 minutes and when he came back all of the windows were knocked out of the truck. The juveniles were apprehended within minutes on their brand new snowmachines. We had to pay to have all the windows replaced in our truck out of our pockets, and we still have not received compensation for those windows.

No dividends were garnished and worst of all no apologies have been given. To the best of my knowledge, those boys have not been held responsible for their actions. They have not apologized and have not made any attempt to repay the damage. My parents would have made me apologize and made me pay for the windows!

I run a business in Soldotna and have a sign up in my store saying these boys are not welcome. Instead of being understanding as to why I wouldn't want their hoodlum son in my store, one of the parents saw the sign and said she'd see me in court. In other words, instead of apologizing for their child's behavior or explaining to their kid how this is a consequence of their behavior, they act like I am somehow in the wrong.

So when June was wondering if we are teaching our children the Golden Rule, I hate to say it, but I really don't think so.

To the people who just had their new house vandalized, I sympathize and wish them the best of luck in getting any compensation. It is our duty as parents and as a society to teach our kids the Golden Rule, and if they choose not to obey it, they need to be held responsible.

Unfortunately, some parents feel it is the state's job to punish their children by garnishing their dividends and if the state doesn't do it, they certainly aren't going to step up to the plate and do it either.

So what is the message being sent to these juveniles? Do whatever you want to others and nobody will hold you responsible.

Colleen Jones


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