News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion
THURSDAY, MAY 19, 2005


Taking responsibility vital to being successful

About the last thing many youngsters hear from their parents as they head out the door is to "remember who you are."

That implies they are to conduct themselves in a way that reflects favorably on themselves and the family values learned at home.

Some of the youngsters who foolishly trashed Falkville High School as a graduation prank apparently forgot Mom's admonition when they slipped into the school at night.

And in doing so, they should have learned that taking responsibility for their errors also means suffering the consequences.

Falkville seniors have a tradition of pulling a prank around graduation time as a way of expressing their liberation from school authority. In this case, the prank became destruction and vandalism that could land them before a grand jury for criminal action.

Many people might see humor in a chicken or two running loose in school, or even the din of 2,000 crickets chirping in unison while teachers strained to focus on year-ending classes.

But the other activity went way beyond a prank. The cornstarch and shavings spread in the building, along with tossing wet toilet paper onto walls, ring of mob action feeding on itself.

The seniors involved, no doubt all fine individuals, won't get to participate in graduation exercises as part of their penalty. Also, to escape criminal charges, seven of them must each repay $372.63 for damages and clean up and perform 40 hours of community service at the school.

One non-student of the dozen implicated may yet face criminal action.

Some in the group complained that one or two involved in peripheral activity received no punishment, and that their punishment is too severe.

But they need to take their sentences like the adults they have become and shut up. No doubt being good citizens got them off light. Being somebody is taking responsibility.

They are lucky.

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