Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Poor Choices

Recently a man in our town was shot and killed by police after a confrontation. This young man made some poor choices such as stealing a car,  fighting the policeman, getting in the car and trying to run over the police, and then dragging the policeman with the car! This young man made poor choices that ended his life and impacted his family, the policemen and their families also. Many lives were changed that day.

Apparently, when this young man was pulled over, he panicked. He didn’t think about the consequences of his actions and what might happen.

In another story, a fifth grader was killed after a fight at school. I’m sure the other girl she was fighting with had no intention of killing her but because of the choices both girls made, one was killed. Both girls and their families were impacted by the choices that were made.

Students need to realize that a poor decision can change their lives drastically. I believe we need to talk about this more often with our students. They may have to make a split-second decision and if we talk about the “what-ifs” beforehand, maybe they can make the right decision when the time comes.

I remember growing up and my parents having these discussions with me. They were kind of like the “fire drill” discussion types. They would throw out some moral or ethical dilemma and we would have a discussion about the best way to handle it. Thankfully, I never faced most of the things that were discussed but some of them I have faced and easily did the right thing. I never question my actions because I knew what I had to do.

I’m not sure we have these discussions enough with our young people. We expect them to know what to do but they don’t if we don’t teach them.

I have had a lot of discussions with my own children as well as many teenagers that I teach about the proper behavior when pulled over by a policeman. Even if you don’t agree with what the policeman is saying, you stay polite and can debate about it in court. While the policeman is on “high alert” (which I don’t blame anyone because of all the recent cop deaths), it is not the time to argue with one. Keep your hands on the steering wheel where they can be seen and listen for further instructions from the police. Being polite can go a long way in not escalating the situation.

Running from the police or getting aggressive with them is never acceptable. No matter what!

Being disrespectful to those in authority is never acceptable.

Taking things that don’t belong to you is never acceptable.

Lying is never acceptable. If you have done something wrong, own up to it and do something to correct the problem.

What other situations would you discuss with your students? Please share.


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