What happens when we don’t learn respect?

Published 11:00 pm Thursday, September 6, 2012

R-E-S-P-E-C-T …

Popular song aside, the basic tenets of respect seem to be lacking in many areas these days.

Just consider the locker room brawl that took place at Goshen High School after a football game last week. The brawl led to the arrest of one parent and the withdrawal of four students from the school. Those youngsters likely will face legal action, as well.

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Those involved say anger and disrespect were at the heart of the matter, and that’s disappointing. All of us have experienced times in our lives when we disagree, when we’re angry, when we’re frustrated. But how we handle those – and how we treat the others around us – is dictated by our respect for others and our respect for ourselves.

Basic respect – for yourself, for others, for adults or for students – should be a core behavior and a fundamental expectation. When it’s not, or when that respect isn’t maintained, chaos ensures.

Respect is a core character trait that needs to be taught from birth, modeled in home and in school, and employed in everyday life for adults. And disrespect should not be tolerated.

Sadly, the family of Goshen High School is learning that lesson the hard way this week.