The assault\bullying\hazing scandal involving the Sayreville NJ High School Varsity football team will only get worse. That much is certain. It appears that something systematically took place in the locker room that has frightened administrators enough that the entire season is now cancelled. It does not take great imagination to realize that this was not simple “hazing” of younger players by seniors. It appears to be something far more serious, possibly violent and sexual in nature. What is instructive is carefully reading the responses of the parents of the players:
1. Our kids are innocent, followed by-
2.Some kids are guilty, but not mine-followed by-
3.Ok, my kid may be guilty, followed by-
4.It’s the fault of the coaches and teachers.
The mealy-mouthed responses by the parents are alarming, but the fault is entirely ours. As a society, over the last few decades, we have tended to excuse and “forgive” the worst behavior in others and in ourselves. If you are popular, politically powerful, well known, and financially secure or influential the chances of any real punishment are just about nil. If you become the media story of the week, maybe something will happen, but that is rare. Yes, the response of the Sayreville football parents is pretty disgusting, but is it any worse than what we have permitted and encouraged and enabled for a very long time? Hard to blame the football parents for expecting for themselves and their sons what they see in the papers and in the media every day. Well respected people get away with pretty egregious crimes all the time. Why not our kids?