The kids aren't alright

Dear Editor:

A couple of weeks ago, I was walking pass Hoboken High School while some students were still gathered outside waiting to go in. I was appalled at the sights, sounds and smells as I passed. I am aware and have never judged a book by its cover; however, with pants hanging well below the waist and gathered two sizes too long at the bottom, girls' navels exposed, bandannas around students' heads, etc., I am concerned about our future citizens. The language from the mouths of some students between slang words and cursing, I wonder how anyone can possibly understand or respect those individuals. And lastly, the stale stench of cigarette smoke was most sickening. I thought I was walking through miles of dirty ashtrays.

Now let's go back in time, and some of you out there will remember when Mr. Gaynor was principal. First, there was a strict dress code, and students looked like they were prepared or being prepared for the outside business world. Second, though we did use slang language as a way of conversation at times, cursing was very seldom heard or not heard at all; we had respect for each other and more importantly, respect for ourselves. And lastly, smoking was prohibited anywhere around the school and surrounding areas. I remember getting detention because I was smoking in the park across the street from the school.

My question to our school supervisors, educators and principal is "what happened to authority and respect?" I know the dress code standards back in the 70's and 80's are too strict and impossible for many of the young people today; however, they could look a bit more decent and look like they actually fit into their clothes. As far as the language spoken, judging by the students I observed speaking in this manner, it may be an impossible task. The smoking issue most positively can be controlled. Just like the teacher that was standing holding the door open on 9th Street stopped a female student walking into school with headphones on and made her put them in her bag prior to her entering school. This is the same teacher that could have and should have prohibited the smoking near the cafeteria area.

If more teachers were visible outside of school and enforcing rules and regulations, which was how it was in the 70's and 80's, our young people may start having respect for the school system, people walking pass them and for themselves.

Debra Morrissette
A former HHS student

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