What is wrong with parents?
October 06, 2010 - As I stood on the west side of N. Oxford Road Friday waiting to photograph the Homecoming Parade, I witnessed something that really upset me.
I saw about 10 or 12 children playing atop a massive pile of rock and dirt. And I saw their parents allowing them to do it.
It bothered me for two reasons.
One, it wasn't a safe thing to do and two, the property was clearly posted with two signs.
One sign read "No Trespassing" while a second stated this was "Private Property."
Now, if I could see these signs, I'm sure the parents and kids could too, unless they were all blind. I didn't see any white canes and guide dogs, so I'm going to assume everyone had 20/20 vision.
So, basically what I witnessed was a blatant disregard for someone's private property rights and a complete lack of respect for the law.
I don't fault the kids. Kids make mistakes and errors in judgment all the time. It's part of being a kid.
I fault the irresponsible parents who allowed this to happen.
Kids look to their parents to tell them when something's right and when something's wrong. In this instance, these parents were obviously defective in their role as moral compasses.
I wonder, would these same parents allow their kids to play in someone else's backyard without the owner's permission?
Imagine a family walking by a stranger's house and the dad suddenly says, "Hey kids, that looks like a pretty sweet swing set and sand box. Why don't you guys run back there and play for a while. It's okay. It doesn't look like anybody's home. Go nuts!"
I would hope most parents wouldn't say something like that, but nowadays you never know. Parents and children have such an overweening sense of entitlement that nothing surprises me anymore.
My question is if it's not okay to send your kids in someone else's backyard without permission, why is it okay for them play on someone else's vacant land?
I know trespassing is a favorite pastime around here. I hunt on a piece of property adjacent to some land owned by a gravel company and I see people trespassing over there all the time – hunting, riding dirt bikes, walking their dogs and jogging.
I guess if a piece of property doesn't have a house and garage on it, it's okay for everyone to use it as they please – as long as they don't get caught. Wink, wink.
CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.