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'Tis the Season to...

Nail it down. That is, if you want to still have it at the end of the day. The frenzy of the season and the state of the economy has trickled down to the youngest consumers. The season of “must have it” has yielded to “just take it.” Morals and values are being unwrapped quicker than any gifts under the tree.

A few examples…

I had a nice big bag of Hershey’s dark miniatures, not just the Special Dark, mind you, but Krackle dark and Mr. Goodbar dark, on my desk the other morning and it just disappeared. Of course we found the culprit through a trail of wrappers. I certainly didn’t need any more chocolate, even if it is the cholesterol-lowering dark stuff, but we still can’t send the message that stealing is okay. It didn’t faze her that she stole from the principal; nor did it faze her mother. In any case, she has a bit of community service to do this week.

A mother called to tell me her son’s boots were stolen out of the classroom by a certain student and she could not afford to replace them. I had spoken to her son the evening before about it and told him to look in the lost and found before accusing someone of stealing and that we’d continue our search for the boots in the morning. Well, that evening his mother called the mother of the student whom her son accused of stealing and ranted at her, using every obscene word not even in the dictionary. Of course the boots were in the lost and found, but the mere thought of having to lay out money that was already scarce to replace boots sent this normally rational mother into an irrational tiz.

Here’s probably one of the most unconscionable examples. One of our students, unfortunately known by his teachers as “sticky fingers” “found” a very nice cell phone just laying on the ground that he proceeded to pawn for just about anything he could get. He eventually sold this phone to his schoolbus driver for $25.00. Now, our ground is covered by several inches of snow right now so just about anything dropped would sink into the white abyss pretty easily. And this driver gave a 10-year-old $25.00 for a used cell phone that was “found” God only knows where. The bus company is now dealing with this incident and the kid is rich from, in all probability, stealing. And guess what, his mother thought nothing of it because he now has some money to spend.

We had a student who saw another student wearing his sweatshirt. The one wearing the stolen sweatshirt swore he bought it at the store just the night before. However, upon closer observation, the other child’s name was written on the label. We also had $90.00 stolen out of a social worker’s purse, but I fault her for leaving it anywhere in sight. “‘Tis the season,” I said. Lock it up or nail it down.

May your holidays be merry and bright!

Nancy Flynn

[cross-posted at the old LeaderTalk blog (including comments)]

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