Kids these days

This morning, I went through my usual routine: get up, let the dog out, feed the cats, procure caffeine, and then scan the headlines. One story caught my eye. It was the perfect illustration about what happens when kids aren’t taught there are consequences to their actions and that sometimes those consequences suck eggs.

In the particular case, which comes out of Australia, the kid in question is crying about how his life has been ruined over a silly stunt. Now, I might buy his crocodile tears if he was 10. But no, this kid is 16, more than old enough to understand there are some things you shouldn’t do, not if you aren’t prepared to pay the price for your actions.

So what happened?

Long story short, a group of women rented a “go boat” to celebrate one of their birthdays. They were having a grand time on the river. Music played via a bluetooth speaker. Food and drink were there to enjoy. Good friends. Good weather. What could go wrong?

The answer to that is a 16-year-old who was more interested in posting a video to his social media in the hopes it would go viral than he was about anything else. This kid decided it would be fun to buy a bottle of milk, stand on a bridge over the river and wait for just the right target. Yep, you guessed it. He saw the women, planned it out, and then leaned over the edge and upturned the bottle, pouring the milk all over them, their possessions, the food, etc.

Then this mental giant–not–uploaded the video he made and–yep, your guessed it–it went viral.

The problem came because the women and others did not think it was funny. Nor did his $20k/year private school. After an investigation, he was suspended. Cue the first round of tears. Then he was cited by the police for several charges. Cue more tears.

Then, proving we have too many who think they are entitled to do whatever they want without facing any kind of consequences, he started whinging and whining and crying on the interwebs about how his future was being destroyed over a silly prank. He blamed those who wanted to hold him accountable for his actions and making him pay the price for being stupid. His cries of “I’m a minor! How can you do this to me? You’re ruining my life!” are pathetic.

As I read the article, all I could do was shake my head. For one thing, it seems this isn’t the first time boaters have faced such “pranks” in that part of Australia. Another woman reported how she and her friends were targeted with water balloons thrown from a bridge. No, there’s nothing to show it was the same kid. My guess is he saw a video of that and decided to do some one upsmanship.

I will admit I have pause when a school takes action against a student for acting stupid off campus. Too many school districts here in the US try to monitor and control everything students do, whether those actions are related to school events or take place on school grounds. However, the school in question is not a public school. It’s a private school with a hefty tuition attached. That means public opinion plays a very large part in every decision it makes. Its administration probably weighed the fact the kid was acting on his own against the PR damage his actions could have on the school and future enrollment. After all, would you want to pay $20k/year to send you kid to a school where self-discipline, among other things, isn’t taught?

My guess is this kid never had to face real consequences and he doesn’t like learning that real life doesn’t always go the way you want. Here’s hoping he learns his lesson before he does something even more foolish.

Featured image created using Midjourney AI.

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