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A blatant demonstration of disprespect

Editorial

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Since Saturday, March 17, St. Patrick's Day actually, the media has been filled with disturbing images of young people gone awry in London, Ontario. 

I understand that a 'mob mentality' can lead people into activities they would not normally be involved in but,  what is more disturbing from the images, is the blatant disrespect of these young people who are basically being handed everything on the proverbial 'silver platter'.

 

They have the opportunity for an education that young people in other countries can only wish for and, what do they do?  They squander their time, their student loans and their parents' support. 

While some may say this is "...only a celebration gone wrong", I think it goes much deeper than that.  These are young people who have no respect for property that doesn't belong to them, no respect for others, no respect for authority of any kind and ... no respect for a country that gives them the freedom to go to school and follow careers of their choice.

There are also those who say the media may exaggerate these events but, according to some students who attend the college [Fanshawe] in the area where this upheaval occurred, drinking, drunken brawls and property violations are a natural course of events.  "It's (Fleming Drive) a well-known neighbourhood for partying, drinking and fights," says one student.

Another one adds that, "...kids who want to go to college just to party when they're away from home, live over there (Fleming neighbourhood).  There are always fights and kids burning something out in the street but this is the worst yet."

These kinds of things are very difficult for the police and fire fighters.  Viewing the videos that are splashed all over the internet, you can see the police reacting calmly and without force.  Rightly or wrongly.  If they step in too soon, they are criticized.  If they sit back and let things take their course, they are criticized. In the end, it is a no-win situation ... for everyone.

I remember the Stanley Cup win in Edmonton when rioters tried the same stunt of destruction.  After five minutes, police had fire hoses turned on the crowds and then they brought in the horse-mounted police. The result?  The end of a riot.

There has to be point in a situation where the police and fire firefighters take action and criticism be damned.  There will always be those who say "... police brutality, excessive force, etc." but what would those same people say if a young person died by being trampled or if homes had gone up in flames because of the torching of vehicles and explosions.?  The police are there for a reason ... to uphold the law and that includes respect for property.

 

Students recognized by their schools as being involved should be immediately expelled.  Students recognized by their landlords should immediately be evicted.  Will this happen?  Not likely.  Why?  Everything comes down to money.  Huge dollars for the colleges in tuition and residence fees, and huge rents for landlords.

This abhorrent behavior is a blight on the post-secondary college, on students who genuinely are working toward an education, on the city of London ... and on all those families whose kids were involved in this disgusting display of disrespect. 

 


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Monday, March 19, 2012