There’s a story in the SL Tribune about an Alta High School student who wore a white hood -with eye holes- that looked [coincidentally] like a KKK hood.
And mommy is making excuses for him:
The Alta High mother said her son found a shortened, white pillowcase with eye holes sitting on the bleachers and donned it when his friends encouraged a “whiteout.” He didn’t make the mask or bring it to school. When he ran onto the gym floor raising his arms in the air, she said, he was taunting seniors — not making a “Heil, Hitler” salute.
What? He found it? It was just sitting there and he thought he’d put it on? Look, I know high school kids don’t think like adults, but this is just too much for me to believe. First, he should have learned about discrimination from his parents a long time ago (though I’ll admit that not every parent thinks to teach their kid about such issues). Second, I’m pretty sure kids learn the reasons behind the Civil Rights movement in 7th grade (or thereabouts). He must have been out sick that week.
How does making excuses for a child in this kind of situation help them become better adults? In my [very humble] opinion, the child has learned to, 1. make excuses for his mistakes, 2. that he’s not really responsible for his actions, and 3. Mommy will kiss it and make it better.
I swear with my hand to God that if my child ever did something like this, I’d let him/her suffer the pain of humiliation for such acts. This is inexcusable behavior.
I’ve never made excuses for my kid. When she was in grade school, she did something as part of a group of girls to a rival group of boys. Her teacher’s punishment was to have her sit in the office during lunch (or something similar). I asked that she spend lunch indoors for a whole week. There was also hell to pay at home. She never caused trouble again. (really, it was a stupid prank and we can laugh about it now, but I didn’t want her to get the idea that it’s OK to act like that again)
Now the boy’s mother hopes to be a “catalyst for conversations” with other kids who just don’t know about the long history with racism in this country. Apparently, she didn’t think to have those lessons with her child before he entered high school (see above).
She also says, ” We’re hoping he has learned from this. The single most important thing is that he has learned a very, very important lesson, and those around him have learned it, too.” Yeah, this kind of negative attention is bad for a teenager’s popularity.
I understand the family’s reputation is at stake. But I honestly believe the right thing to do is instruct the child to sincerly apologize for his actions [edit: at the end of the article it says the boy apologized at an assembly. Good. But it doesn't change my opinion that his mother shouldn't make excuses for his behavior]. Even if this was a silly misunderstanding, the family’s reputation would fare better if they acted with a little more humility.
This opinion is mine and mine alone. :)