Saturday, November 25, 2006

Give Us a Break!

I attended Gympie State High School. It was compulsory to wear the school uniform. There were probably a few grumbles about the non-flattering uniform but that didn't matter. At least it saved on our parents' pockets in having to buy clothes for us to wear to school. Wearing of the uniforms also, no doubt, eased peer pressure in that we didn't feel we had to 'keep up with the Jones'. I don't even know if we had a problem with 'peer pressure' when I was in high school or when I commencing working. If it was around, it didn't alter my behaviour in any way and still doesn't!

What has prompted this post is an article I read in today's 'Sunday Mail' about "State school uniform standards are now enforceable by law, making it possible for schools to compel students to conform to a code, and to punish those who don't conform with sanctions." Apparently dress codes in state schools were under the jurisdiction of the Department of Education manual. Now, under the new legislation, schools that don't have an official uniform can still maintain its "no uniform" policy but its dress standards would be enforceable. In schools where there is a uniform policy, students will be expected to conform.

I don't think it hurts the kids to wear uniforms! And I believe we allow kids too much say in matters these days...they are still 'kids' after all!

I've not worn a uniform since, of course...I hate them! Even when I was cheffing, I created my own "uniform" as I didn't want to conform. At high school uniforms were the rule, so I conformed! I doubt it did my any harm.

Schoolies: I think this is a load of hogwash, too! I'd already been working a couple of years earning my own living at the age of these kids are who go crazy at the coast this time each year! 'Schoolies' Week' may bring a lot of money to the coastal communities, but it also brings added pressures and problems.

When I was a teenager working in a legal office in Gympie, every weekend during the spring/summer months, about three, sometimes four girlfriends and I went to the coast, either Mooloolaba or Noosa. Noosa became our beach of choice after a year of frequenting Mooloolaba. It was also closer to Gympie. We spent the days, from early morning, sometimes hitting the beach at 6am, until late afternoon, surfing (board and body-surfing), sunbathing (in the days when sun cancer wasn't a term in our vocabularly) and our nights were spent dancing our feet off at either the dances at the RSL Hall in Tewantin or various record hops. On the long weekends, midnight to dawn record hops were organised, so we would be dancing through the nights! I remember a couple of instances where I had blisters on the soles of my feet from 'rockin' & rollin' all night long!

Alcohol wasn't a big part of our equation, nor were sex and drugs. When alcohol was present, binge-drinking definitely wasn't part of it. We weren't supposed to be drinking so, although not totally abiding by the rules, we had respect for the rules and didn't abuse the fact that we were drinking illegally. I know in my case, and that of my group of friends, we still had our parents to answer if we stepped over the line. (And you can guarantee they would have heard about our behaviour somehow or other...lots of 'bush-telegraphs" and bush-tom-toms' around in those days!) I'm not saying we were a bunch of prudes...we weren't...but we had respect for our parents and ourselves.

So many of the young people of today appear to lack respect for their parents, themselves or each other. A lot of the time, I believe the blame is upon the parents. When I first moved to the mountain, I cooked in a restaurant up here. A young sixteen-year old lass who was still going to school at the time but doing work experience on weekends at the restaurant was heading off to the Gold Coast for 'Schoolies' Week'. Her parents loaded up the boot of their car with booze for her to take to the coast. They drove her down! Great message, I thought! (Hang on! I'll take my tongue out of my cheek and remove the sarcasm key!)

It's all a bit sad and a bit crazy, I reckon! I know if I had kids attending 'Schoolies' I'd be worried sick. I would hope that I had instilled in them good values but there are just so many dangerous traps for kids today to fall into and so many bad characters around who prey on them, looking for the slightest, smallest chink in their young armour.


  1. Check Oct. 4th post for whats next Lee,
    but seriously there is a bit of a kindred theme to it and your post.

  2. I'm sorry, Peter...but I can see no connection/link with this post and that of your's of the 4th October. Am I missing something?

  3. I have two young daughters and I worry about the world in which they are growing into. I worry that we don't legislate against 'girlie' ready-to-drink concoctions that are way too high in alchol content and the kids drink like water. Schoolies is crap and should be abolished....what are they celebrating? They have not accomplished anything yet other tahn working in a classroom for five odd hours a day and sponging off their hard working parents. I too worked early in life and at 15 left home to join the defence force. Uniforms should be mandatory because it saves parents money on as you say "keeping up with the jones'" I will now get off my soapbox LOL and revert to watching the Aussies murder the Poms in the cricket

  4. We are kindred spirits in thoughts, scorpy...I, too, am watching the cricket!

    You're allowed to get up on your soapbox...I get up on mine all the time! lol I even carry it with me when I go out! ;)

  5. Gidday Lee,
    Yeah, I know it was a short post (Thanksgiving Post), but there's a much larger (and funnier) post before it. 'Tis a shame a lot of what you've written about respect could not be read by a lot of the schoolies and the parents who tolerate (or turn a blind eye) to this sort of behaviour.
    What you've written makes a lot of sense. Not sure thou' whether the kids or even some of the parents would "get it".

  6. Yes, you have a point there, Wazza. And it's a damn shame as such ignorance is passed down through the generations!

    I empathise with scorpy sentiments. He has two young daughters...and the world 'out there' is far more unforgiving these days. I think parents have to get their children interested in other things like sport, hobbies, ballet, keep their minds and bodies active and busy. An understanding of good values begins in the home.

    Joint activies with them, don't go astray either...take them fishing, camping, walks along a beach...natural fun stuff like that. Read to and with them...introduce them to books...some of the great classics...teach how to broaden their minds and show them the path to having inquirying minds.

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  8. an't get a link up for some reason Lee, you can go through archives if you like.

  9. gd'day Lee - spot on once again.

    It's worrying, but I think that mostly I am just glad that I am not young today and have to live in this world the way things are.

    Did you see the problems they have already had with schoolies? And that's only week one and the local kids!

  10. I found it, was actually the 6th Oct, not 4th...that's why I didn't see it. Yes...the principle is still the same.

  11. Hi Della...yes, I have...and all the scumbags who hang around the kids causing trouble. Plus there were groups of kids involved younger than the 'schoolies'!

    Get out the firehoses, I say!

  12. Hi Lee, I totally agree on the uniform and schoolies issue, any half decent parent would want to keep their daughters well away from "schoolies" had they been privy to a news broad cast I saw.
    A man in probably his late thirty's was asked why he was there. His disgusting answer was "because there are a lot of bitches here for the taking". This is yet another ugly aspect of the whole fiasco. Cheers Margaret

  13. I saw that on the news the other night, as well, Margaret. It was sickening to hear. Respect for one's fellow human being has flown out the door. I wonder where that fellow will end up in life...probably behind bars or friendless. What a sad blight on society!