WITH only days left before the next lot of Year 12 students complete their schooling, I wonder just how many of them are planning for the next stage of their lives?
Are they planning to mark the occasion where they leave their childhood behind, with actions and behaviours that acknowledge that they are now the next generation of leaders and members of the adult community?
I wonder just how many parents, grandparents, members of the community and school leaders are mentoring these group of “young adults”.
Are they challenging the long-held belief that ending school should be marked by muck-up days, disruption to the local and school community, theft, drinking to excess and a general disregard for anyone who may stand in their way of having “fun”?
Given that many members of Tamworth community are fed up with the lack of regard for law and order, does condoning this end of year behaviour create a sense of entitlement that Year 12 students have a right to these muck-up days?
Does that have a flow-on effect for them that makes them think that this is acceptable within our community and that they can continue to behave in ways that are not respectful to other members of the community after they leave school?
Some schools provide their students with strong leadership which promotes positive community contribution through fundraising and charitable work.
They continue to work their students right to the very last day, maximising their HSC revision studies and exam preparation.
Many teachers want their students to do well so that their future opportunities for ongoing education and employment are maximised.
Therefore they struggle with the desire to maximise their students’ educational outcomes versus being seen as a party-pooper by insisting that the last week is used constructively and optimally.
Teachers also have five other year groups whose lessons are also interrupted by these Year 12 students.
Some school leavers think they have a right to do whatever they like, interrupt lessons and disrespect the work these teachers are trying to do.
Some schools condone a whole week of festivities which by now, is surely out of step with the rest of the community.
I challenge all members of the community to have a good hard look at your role in mentoring the young adults in your world.
Are you turning a blind eye to the activities they have planned?
Are you encouraging them to be respectful to those people outside their peer group so that their activities do not negatively impact on them?
For any negative outcomes that eventuate over the next few weeks which is directly attributable to end of schooling activities, do not place the entire blame on the students.
We, the adults in the community, will be just as responsible for the outcomes because it will be all of us who have failed to lead and mentor students by instilling the correct values on how to be an active and positive community member.
For students who decide to swim against the tide and opt for a respectful end to their education through hard work, positive community contribution and who demonstrate that they value their entry into the adult world, you are the people I will admire and respect.