Saturday, 20 October 2012

op/ed-amanda todd,teachers privacy,texas cheerleaders and some other casually related issues.

How easy is it to sit behind a keyboard and go on a rant about how our society is going to hell in a hand basket?Everyone has likely done it at some point.If we only knew where to look,we could likely find similar editorials carved in stone on some cave wall.The point is,sometimes it's too little and too late.

The Amanda Todd story has been front and center in Canadian news lately,as it well should be.Cyber bullying has been a popular cause lately as well.That's all fine and good,but does anyone in our society really get it?Because,when it comes to the Amanda Todd story,it is hard to imagine anything so dismally tragic.And the ugly reality of it all is that EVERYONE DROPPED THE BALL!EVERYONE!The problem is that no one gave enough of a damn to save this young ladies life.Nobody!Shame on us all!This simply must stop,and it stops when people really realize what it is that is wrong with our society.Cyber bullying is only one symptom of the disease.

It's easy to point fingers in blame."Where were the parents?"That's a phrase that I've heard repeated time after time over the past few days.And a very good question it is.For instance,where are parents when their children are using the computer.And,for that matter,where are the computers?In your child's bedroom?If that's the case,then it's a case of leaving the barn door wide open to every imaginable kind of cyber corrupted bully.Computers need to be located within earshot,eye's range and arms length of parents.Your computer terminal is not a babysitter.So now we are all holding midnight vigils for someone who should still be with us.Well placed sympathy to be sure,but just a little late.

Where were teachers in all of this?And where were the police.It's fine that they have launched an investigation with regard to Amanda Todd,but again,it's rounding up a bunch of escaped horses.I recently had occasion to file a complaint with regard to harassment I received in response to opinions I had posted on line.To be sure,the threats made were mild by comparison to what happened to Amanda Todd.But I wonder if Ms.Todd,anywhere along the line might have been told what I was told.That being that it's impossible to track threats and harassment to a particular computer.Really?I'll bet more than a few IT experts were employed to track down Osama Bin Laden.Just an uninformed guess,but it's no doubt true.I was told that the perpetrator could have been anywhere from Romania to Algeria,and finding out where is simply impossible.Well,maybe if a certain police officer cared enough about any alleged  policy of "zero tolerance"to get his doughnut sodden ass up out of his chair,a step in the right direction could be taken.It is,as this same officer notes a daunting job.But any journey starts with the first step.If only anyone were willing.

On a related note,I see where the Supreme Court Of Canada has ordered a new trial for a teacher who had inappropriate pictures of a student on a computer supplied by his school board.The issue:apparently he has some privacy rights,which were somehow violated.Excuse me.Inappropriate pictures?And we are worried about his privacy.Does anyone truly believe that this guy is fit to teach at all?You might want to rethink that.You see,the point is that character really does matter.It's as simple as that.So what does that have to do with Amanda Todd?It's simple.Corruption is corruption.When one limb of the tree is rotting,the whole tree is rotting.It is beyond belief to me that,based on this one story that Amanda Todd's story did not involve teachers at some level.Surely they were among the wretched cowards sitting behind a keyboard out there pushing this young lady on to her ultimate end.Along with those from every other walk of life.

In no way do I want to blame the victim in this case,so,as unpopular as this next statement is,I make it anyway.As much as Ms.Todd deserves our sympathy,and her family our support and prayers,she undertook some actions that led to this tragedy.Watching her story on Youtube,I get a sense that she understands that.Still,it's a shame that she had to grow up so quickly.We simply must deal with the whole issue of peer pressure.Tragically,it's far too late for Amanda Todd.I simply ask anyone out there,do you still think immodesty is a good idea?A victimless sin?Some of you are living the same reality right now as Amanda Todd.What are you going to do about it?You can still be a positive role model.Some are thinking of doing something similar to what led to this tragedy.Think really hard.It's an action that you will never outlive the consequences of no matter how long or short your life may be.Again,I think Amanda Todd tried to overcome her actions,tried to let her life be a reminder to others.She simply,in the end lacked the strength to withstand a sometimes diabolically vicious world.There was a glimmer of light in her video,but it went out far too soon.

Before I get to my point,I should note that not all the news I've heard this week is discouraging.There was the case of the Texas cheerleaders who were ordered to stop holding up signs with biblical references at high school football games.I was encouraged that authorities in Texas,whom I don't by any means always agree with,are determined to support these girls in the expression of their own faith.After all,what is so sacrosanct about "atheist faith"that it demands to be taken above the faith of all others?In fact,do these particular students really have something to say about the state of our world today,insomuch as it involves young people and schools?How does their voice tie in with the Amanda Todd story?Should we not expect the voices of young people to be asking what is so wrong in their schools and in their world today?

The problem,I think stems from a general lack of teaching morals of any kind.Then again,morals such as they have been expressed in the past 150 or so years don't seem to give much guidance.They don't seem to speak to issues like cyber abuse.I'm not convinced that the idea of subjective morality,or,for that matter,no morality at all,can stop cases like Amanda Todd's from happening over and over.More to the point,I think her case is just one illustration of where godless morality has led us.You see,children don't fear God anymore.They learned that from their parents.The simple fact is that it is not good to live an existence which is free of all fear.If you or In or Amanda Todd,or anyone else chooses not to live in the image of the God who made us,and to fear Him,with the reverence He deserves,then what is unique and dignified about human life?The answer is,nothing at all.Schools need to be teaching believable morals and ethics that are soundly based.They need to be allowing prayer,as they used to do.I am not referring to the prayers of any given denomination,but to a constant attitude of prayer in general.With that attitude going on in your mind,it's much more difficult to undertake bullying of any sort,much less the thoughtless,sociopathic abuse that led to the death of Amanda Todd.And,if we listen closely,I believe that today's young people are demanding it.They are crying out for something better than the relativist,godless philosophy of people like Bertrand Russell and Richard Dawkins,who more than anyone else have dropped the ball.

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