Last week a story broke in the news that had folks crying foul and for good reason. A video clip of middle schoolers launching a vicious verbal attack on an elderly school bus monitor went viral. I suppose it took off in terms of the number of views that it had because it was apparently shocking to many folks. It wasn't to me.

I taught school for many years and perhaps that is why I was saddened by the video but certainly not shocked. I did not teach middle schoolers, I taught third grade however since it was a small private school I had access to the middle school population and was around them enough to know the lack of fear and respect that seems to run rampant these days.

Lack of any type of fear of authority is something that I have witnessed not just in the school that I taught at but at recreations centers, parks, restaurants, in the stands at sporting events, and the list goes on. Most of the atrocious behavior of these kids that I have observed is when they are with their own parents and make no mistake about it.....therein lies the problem.

Although I do not personally know the kids involved in the school bus incident, I would guess that these same kids who sliced and diced this elderly monitor with their words , also are not real shy or hesitant to mouth off at mom and  dad at home. The kind of verbal abuse that these kids hurled at this poor woman on the bus doesn't come out of nowhere. These kids were brazen and that kind of blatant behavior is born and tolerated at home to some degree. All one has to do is tune in now and then to Dr. Phil or another talk show when the topic at hand is " Out of Control Teens". Viewers on those days will witness kids on stage who threaten and cuss at their parents. They call them every name in the book and punch, hit, and kick them as well as attempt to intimidate their own mom and dad with all kinds of violence should they not please them in every way imaginable. It is not a pretty sight. Maybe it is because I have seen a few of these episodes coupled with my own years of being in a school environment that kept me from being aghast and shocked at what went on in that bus that day.

The question everyone is asking is "WHY?"  ....why is this happening? Well, it is not because of the harsh political debates of this past year or due to the coarseness of reality shows as one supposed media expert suggested. No, it is a symptom of a much bigger problem that began about ten years ago when these middle schoolers were just three and four years old. When they wanted the toy in the store and were told "no" they screamed and fussed and mom and day bought the toy. When they wanted a candy bar right before dinner and were told "no" they threw a tantrum and were given the Snickers bar. When they wanted to play at their friend's house and were told "no" they said they were going to go anyway and slammed the door on the way out of the house and mom and dad did nothing but shake their heads. Then these little years turned to the tween years where cursing and all sorts of vile behavior is the order of the day. Problem is the situation began way back when everything the kids did was considered cute and adorable and now it isn't so much. And guess who is to blame ? Yep - the parents who put these precious little beings on such a pedestal to begin with.

Do I sound sarcastic and just a bit fed up ? I am. Just am weary of parents worshipping their children instead of the creator who made those kids and gave them to those parents as a gift to raise properly to honor and glorify HIm with their lives. Our society today has unfortunately made gods of their children. The result is their kids grow up not appreciating a whole lot and are miserable because of it.

Hopefully the video clip can do more than just have us collectively shaking our heads. May it teach us a lesson that we can learn and take to heart. Our kids our depending on us to do so. Their very lives hang in the balance.