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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

I have been warning people about the dangers of everyone getting a trophy, and I was shot down. I am going to get on my soapbox again in the hopes that someone listens to what I have to say. In my opinion, if something isn’t done soon, then the United States is in for a free-for-all that no one wins.

On February 7, 2014, the 9th Circuit Court of the United States ruled that displaying the American flag in an American school could be banned if enough people threaten violence because of the display. Let that sink in for a minute. America is supposed to be this big, bad defender of democracy and the American way all over the world, but we refuse to stand our ground in our own schools.

What happened was that a group of high school students in California wore American flag t-shirts to school on Cinco de Mayo. Some of the other students threated violence if the shirts were not turned inside out, or the students removed for wearing them. Did the school suspend the students that threatened violence against other students? No. The school told the four teenagers to turn their shirts inside out or they would be sent home from school. The students refused and they were suspended. Then an American court upheld that idea by saying that the school was right to cower to violence.

Now, let’s break that down into its component parts. Four American school children were suspended from school for wearing American flags on their t-shirts. Why? Because the school didn’t want the other students to start rioting. So, apparently, all you have to do to get your way in the United States is threaten violence and you can even get the American flag banned in an American school.

I remember when every, single American thought it was a travesty if the American flag touched the ground. What kind of message is the government sending when it allows the threat of violence to get the flag completely banned? The message is that violence works, so use it whenever you can.

We have troops overseas fighting to defend the American way. How can we ask those troops to defend the flag when we won’t even back it here at home? What would happen if a war hero had visited that school on Cinco de Mayo and those students threatened to riot?

Let me explain, again, what is going on in this country so that maybe everyone can understand. When a child makes a mistake, the child is not punished. When a child speaks out of turn in class and the teacher yells at the child, the child’s parents lobby to get the teacher fired. When a child robs a store or someone’s home for the thrill of it, it is the store owner or homeowner’s fault. The child is not punished, but the adults are.

When you give everyone a trophy no matter how they finished and you coddle children so much that everyone gets blamed but the children, you create a generation that lacks all respect for anything. All children care about these days is themselves.

Do you know what one of the newest trends is with kids in the New York City area? Making false calls to the police to see who can get the biggest police response. It is called “swatting” because the ultimate goal is to get the SWAT team to respond. Do these kids care that these SWAT professionals would put their lives on the line for anyone who needs it? No. Why? Because the kids have absolutely no respect for anyone.

My son was raised with respect. He respects me, he respects people older than him, and he respects anyone who has earned it. I taught him to be that way because I wanted to be a responsible parent. Apparently, parents like me are a dying breed.

What is next? Now that the American flag can be taken down from any American school if someone threatens violence, what is next? Why are we even here? Why are we asking our brave troops to die for a damn flag that we don’t even respect anymore?

This country is rapidly becoming a joke. The youth are running wild and it is only getting worse. Parents blame everyone else for their children’s shortcomings and children are not taught accountability or respect.

Give everyone a trophy and everyone feels entitled to win. No one wants to earn it anymore. Now the flag can be banned in American schools.

This is another warning to everyone who reads this. If this is not stopped right now, then the repercussions will be traumatic for everyone.

Parents; stand up and raise your children. When your child breaks the neighbor’s window, punish the child instead of suing the neighbor. Stop giving everyone a damn trophy. Let children learn the pride of earning something and then maybe they won’t take everything for granted.

Stop this insanity now or this will only lead to bigger problems. Try to imagine this younger generation in charge of the country. Try to imagine what it will be like when no one respects anything and when the flag is something that children can spit on because it offends them. Just imagine that and see if it makes you as sick as it makes me.

Nick Oliver is a Niagara County resident and damn glad his time on this rock is limited. His column appears every Wednesday and is published by some respectable people. You know what, don’t bother emailing him anymore. He’s not interested.

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