2008-01-23 / Editorial & Columns

What are we teaching our kids?

I don't know if any of you have walked through a school campus lately, or got behind a group of youngsters walking the mall, but if so it doesn't take long to realize that the language we used to attribute to servicemen and people in prison, now flows freely from our children's mouths. This includes both male and female. Matter of fact some of the girls are worse than the guys. Where did they learn their foul talk? Well, first we look at home. What kind of language is used in the home. Then if they don't get it there we look to movies, videos, etc., and of course friends.

Bad language is nothing new, it's been with us for centuries, but the use of it by our young people is what is alarming. George Washington wrote a memo to his troops about the cussing and use of bad language going on in his Army. People were surprised when the "Watergate Tapes" were released as the language used by then President Nixon and his aides. Harland Sanders, better known as Col. Sanders, claimed he lost about half his vocabulary when he became a Christian.

John Newton used to be one of the foulest speakers sailors and slave traders around, then his life changed. He later wrote a few songs, one of which is "Amaz- ing Grace."

I guess some people accumulate swear words over time because I saw a survey that stated men knew at least 58 swear words while most women only know 29. It's good if you've never used these type of words, but for those who have, myself included, we need to try and eliminate them from our vocabulary. They don't impress anyone at all, and you just belittle yourself if you continue to use them.

Over the years we become desensitized to so many other things in our culture, we have also because of movies, TV and the like, desensitized ourselves to swearing, where it's almost becomes natural. Those who do these type of things or promote it state that they are only reflecting our country's behavior, not causing it. "They" say that America has matured and we should accept that. But to hear that kind of language, especially from a youngster sounds a little immature to me.

I've been told that approximately 89% of school principals report that they and their teachers face cussing and swearing and insults from students and parents on a daily basis. Sounds to me like we need to go back to grandma's way of dealing with the problem, wash their mouth out with a bar of soap.

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