News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


Cap protest overlooks gang issue

The cap ban imposed at Austin and Decatur high school basketball games may seem a little silly.

But make no mistake, the ban, good or bad, is an urgent plea for help in controlling the atmosphere at schools.

Instead of mostly older basketball fans griping because of the cap ban, cleaning up the gang mentality should have dominated the conversation when the group met Superintendent Sam Houston and school board member Tommy Sykes on Thursday to complain.

Schools and police wrestle with gangs and would-be gangs all of the time. And the problem isnít limited to Decatur.

But banning caps apparently caused more concern than these gangs.

Where is the public indignation when schools feel they must resort to any tactic that might reduce gang activities?

Thatís disturbing.

Even City Council President Billy Jackson failed to throw the full power of his office behind school officialsí attempt to control the problem at games. He applauded the effort and criticized the cap ban and the schoolsí way of attacking the problem.

Several decades ago a male with any manners would never wear a cap or hat inside. The gesture was a sign of respect. Sure, what passes as politeness changes with time, but showing respect must be a constant in any civilized society that survives.

If the cap ban is unfair to law-abiding citizens, as Mr. Jackson noted, isnít it also unfair that other law-abiding students must tolerate gang activity?

Where is the will to confront the problem?

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