TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Parental Electronic Supervision of Teens - Good or Bad?

Re: Parental Electronic Supervision of Teens - Good or Bad?
12 Dec 2005 12:38:14 -0800

> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: When I was in high school (1956-60)
> there were no metal detectors to walk through either, nor any of the
> other 'security' devices so prevalent these days. Somehow, we managed
> to survive.

In fairness to today's administrators, there were some differences
between now and then:

1) Drop outs: A lot of kids, particularly boys, simply dropped out of
school when it got too boring or onerous. While there was
encouragement to stay in school in those days, there wasn't the
pressure like today and there were plenty of good jobs available if the
kid had half a brain or a strong back. In those years American
industry was humming along very nicely and a big demand for labor. If
you had some smarts and could learn skills and worked hard on the job
you would get promoted even wtihout a HS diploma and make a nice

The point is a lot of the trouble makers in school today would simply
have been out of school in those days.

2) Guns: Our country has gone nuts with guns. People had guns in the
old days. But they had only one or two and they weren't as powerful as
today. A kid recently murdered his girlfriend's parents and he was
loaded for WW III; likewise with the kids who shot up their schools.

3) There were bad kids and bad schools: School administrators were
always fanactical about keeping bad news out of the paper, but inner
cities and tough rural neighborhoods had their share of violence.
There was a film on that, The Blackboard Jungle. During the "good
years" of WW II, schools set up in temporary construction camps for war
industries were pretty rough, the boys caring little and the girls
running off to "take care" of soldiers. At the end of the war there
were many very bewildered 16 and 17 year old girls sitting in front of
a squalid room waiting for their partying husband. Some had a baby
with them. Today we'd put a man who did that in jail but back then as
long as they were married it was fine.

Back in the war and postwar years authors who wrote about this stuff
were criticized as unpatriotic or were banished to heavy-duty college
textbook status that few people would read. When Hollywood attempted
(very rarely) to cover this social problems the films didn't sell and
Hollywood was criticized as being commie for putting them out.

Fortunately many books on this subject have survived in large
libraries. The Natl Bldg Museum in Washington did an exhibit on
wartime construction, incl wartime housing, and included the family
and social issues therein.

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