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Angels in disguise?

editorialdancingpushbackIt seems that to just about every child, his or her parents are never nearly as “cool” as the other child’s. It seems too that in many cases where the child and his or her parents are “best friends”, that friendship is measured by the liberty extended.

By the same token, it would appear that to the vast majority of our parents their children are perfect, or at worse, near perfect. This is perhaps because the cruelty of our society so often equates a less than perfect child with a less than successful parent.

Fortunately, or unfortunately, parents are still able to see the imperfections of children through the actions and behaviour of other people’s children. We say all this to ask the question: What is it that causes so many children to be angels in our presence and, if not devils, at least less than angels when they are “out”?

Two weekends ago the 2013 graduating class of one of our Secondary Schools held a fete in the school hall. We have not identified the school so as not to single them out for ridicule, because over exuberance can be found wherever young people gather; and the fact that the police intervened and brought it to an early end is not critical to our highlighting the event either. It would appear that police concerns were sparked by persons who clearly were not on the roll of the school.

Our concern relates specifically to the conduct of the young men and women who attended and their behaviour on the dance floor — essentially what passes for dancing at these types of events. The pieces of clothing and wigs left on the dance floor after the event tell their own story.

We do not for one moment believe that the organisers of the event intended to create an avenue for the many displays of loutish behaviour that our photographer captured, but the fact is that if the pictures taken are a reflection of the tone of the event, then those responsible have to look at the level of freedom given to school children on a Saturday night on such occasions.

When girls in mini-dresses dance with their feet above the shoulders of male partners, it can only lead to a feeding frenzy. When girls in tight-fitting miniskirts pull them above their waists to allow them freedom of movement to gyrate on “boys” who are stretched out on the floor it can only lead to other males on the dance floor believing it is a free for all.

It would not be hard to believe that these children left home looking like perfect young men and women, with their parents fully confident that they would do nothing to bring shame or embarrassment to themselves — if only they saw the photos.

But perhaps in today’s increasingly liberal world there is no shame in exposing your underwear on a dance floor crowded by a couple hundred peers, when you know that each flash of the photographer’s camera is another chance that the world will see you at (or in) your finest, thanks to the Internet.

So we return to the parents and adults. Could it be that we contribute to these episodes by letting our children believe they have us fooled, when we are fully aware of what can occur at these events?

Is it that school authorities have to make it absolutely clear that a graduation fete is not and cannot be a fete located in a “red-light” district.

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