My take on the Stephentown 300
By Randi Crawford
I don’t have enough words in my vocabulary to express my disgust at how we are raising our kids today. The situation is out of hand people. I just want to know one thing from you after you’ve read this piece: What has happened to parenting and teaching children the value of accepting responsibility when they make a mistake? Where did that go? Can someone please tell me how we have fallen so far off the moral compass that the compass no longer exists? As parents, do we honestly believe that we have perfect kids who can do no wrong?
Let me digress, in case you haven’t heard about the Stephentown 300. Over the Labor Day weekend, 300 teens thought it would be fun to “party” at the home of Brian Holloway, an ex-NFL football player, who was selling his home. The party-goers broke in, vandalized his home, urinated on his carpets, spray painted his walls, drank and did drugs, stole a headstone for his stillborn grandchild (which has since been returned) along with other valuables, and then snapped pictures of themselves and blasted it all over social media, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
As if this story isn’t bad enough, it gets worse. After learning about this party that thrashed his entire home, Brian Holloway’s immediate reaction was “We need to start a movement to save these kids.” He didn’t get angry about the $20,000 worth of damage to his home, his concern was for these kids and for them to turn their lives around. Now before I go on, can you just stop and think about that for a minute. Really? If someone broke into your home, did $20,000 worth of damage, stole invaluable property, destroyed family memories, and then blasted it all over the web, are you going to tell me that you wouldn’t be just a little pissed off?
So, what does Brian Holloway do? He sets up a website called www.helpmesave300.com and re-posts the pictures and tweets that the kids took themselves, in order to build a movement to teach these kids to take responsibility. He asked everyone to come help clean the mess and start the process to accept responsibility for his/and her actions. Do you want to take a guess at how many kids from the party actually showed up? Different reports say anything from one to four kids (from the party) showed up to help out. Hmmm, something doesn’t sound right. Wouldn’t you expect that the parents would insist that their kids go and be part of the clean-up effort? I must be missing something in this story…
Yup, this story isn’t over. Not only did the parents not drag their kids to Mr. Holloway’s home to apologize on their hands and knees, the parents are threatening to sue him for posting pictures of their kids on his website because it can hurt their chances of getting into college. Can you say “What is wrong with this picture?” I’m at such a loss for words right now that my brain can’t wrap itself around the insanity of this situation. Has this whole country gone mad? Can nobody accept responsibility anymore? Is this really how we want to raise our children?
Parents, I’m calling BS on this notion that our kids are always right and everyone else is to blame. And no disrespect to Mr. Holloway, but sir you got one thing very wrong – we definitely need a movement in this country, but it’s not for the kids – we need a movement for the parents. I’d like to call it the pull your head out movement. What’s going on today with our enabling parenting-style has to stop. Here’s a little wake up call. Our kids are far from perfect and they are going down an ugly path if we believe that shielding them from adversity and the consequences of their actions is actually helping them. Lastly, I’d like to say to the parents of the Stephentown 300, “Shame on all of you.”
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